Predictive Control of Unstable Nonminimum-phase Systems K. Guemghar, B. Srinivasan, Ph. Mullhaupt, D. Bonvin ´ Institut d’Automatique, Ecole Polytechnique F´d´rale de Lausanne, ee CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland. Predictive control is a very effective approach for tackling problems with constraints and nonlinear dynamics, especially when the analytical computation of the control law is difficult. Standard predictive control involves predicting the system behavior over a prediction horizon and calculating the input that minimizes a criterion expressing the system behavior in the future. Only the first part of the computed input is applied to the system, and this procedure is repeated with the advent of each new measurement. This methodology is widely used in the process industry where system dynamics are sufficiently slow to permit its implementation. In contrast, applications of predictive control to fast unstable dynamic systems are rather limited. Apart from computational considerations, a fundamental limitation arises from the accuracy of that prediction, which can be quite poor due to accumulation of numerical errors if the prediction horizon is large. In this paper, an upper bound on the prediction horizon based on the location of the unstable pole(s) of the linearized system will be provided. The problem becomes more acute when nonminimum-phase systems are considered. Nonminimum phase implies that the system starts in a direction opposite to its reference (inverse response). To control such systems, it is reasonable to predict the maneuvers, thus making predictive control a natural strategy. However, a large prediction horizon is required since it is necessary to look beyond the inverse response. In this context, a lower bound on the prediction horizon based on the location of the unstable zero(s) of the linearized system will be provided. The two bounds mentioned above may lead to the situation where there exist no value of the prediction horizon that can stabilize a given unstable nonmiminum-phase system. For such a case, a combination of tools from differential geometry and predictive control is proposed in this paper. The envisaged procedure has a cascade structure and is outlined below: 1. Using the input-output linearization technique, the nonlinear system is transformed into a linear subsystem and internal dynamics. However, since the original nonlinear system is nonminimum-phase, the internal dynamics are unstable. 2. The linear subsystem is made arbitrarily fast by using a stabilizing high-gain linear feedback (inner-loop). 3. A predictive control scheme is then used to stabilize the slow internal dynamics (outerloop) by manipulating the reference of the inner loop. The stability of the proposed procedure is analyzed using a singular perturbation approach. The results will be illustrated in simulation on a system consisting of an inverted pendulum on a cart. 1