Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2015

Author's Department

Computer Science & Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Wireless sensor-actuator network (WSAN) technology is gaining rapid adoption in process industries because of its advantages in lowering deployment and maintenance cost in challenging environments. While early success of industrial WSANs has been recognized, significant potential remains in exploring WSANs as unified networks for industrial plants.

This thesis research explores a cyber-physical co-design approach to design wireless control systems. To enable holistic studies of wireless control systems, we have developed the Wireless Cyber-Physical Simulator (WCPS), an integrated co-simulation environment that integrates Simulink and our implementation of WSANs based on the industrial WirelessHART standard. We further develop novel WSAN protocols tailored for advanced control designs for networked control systems. WCPS now works as the first simulator that features both linear and nonlinear physical plant models, state-of-art WirelessHART protocol stack, and realistic wireless network characteristics. A realistic wireless structural control study sheds light on the challenges of WSC and the limitations of a traditional structural control approach under realistic wireless conditions. Systematic emergency control results demonstrate that our real-time emergency communication approach enables timely emergency handling, while allowing regular feedback control loops to effectively share resources in WSANs during normal operations. A co-joint study of wireless routing and control highlights the importance of the co-design approach of wireless networks and control.


English (en)


Chenyang Lu

Committee Members

Roger Chamberlain, Christopher Gill, Humberto Gonzalez, Roch Guerin, Abusayeed Saifullah


Included in

Engineering Commons