Applied Dynamics International was founded in 1957 by Bob Howe and three other University of Michigan professors. ADI has a rich history that spans over 60 years. A brief historical timeline that outlines key events in Applied Dynamics history can be found here.

This page includes a collection of papers and articles that outlines the history of ADI founder Bob Howe, the founding of ADI, and analog computers.

​Robert M. Howe, Ph.D. and Professor Emeritus

A Brief Biographical Sketch

Bob Howe lecturing in the 1970s

Robert M. (Bob) Howe was a pioneer in the early development of system simulation and the computational tools for generating solutions to simulation models. Throughout his life, he accomplished many things including founding a company that is still around over 60 years later.

Bob Howe was born in 1925 and was to become a distinguished leader in this evolution in engineering education and thinking. In 1957, Bob had achieved the status of full Professor in the Aerospace Department of the University of Michigan. In 1957 he would also lead a small group in the founding of Applied Dynamics as part of this engineering evolution.

Bob Howe played a huge role in both Applied Dynamics and the University of Michigan Aerospace Department. Bob’s life was very much impacted by events, such as World War II, that happened around him and over which he had no control. It’s how he took advantage of the opportunities he was afforded by these events that made him the leader he was. Some of these events that affected not only Bob, but also the US war efforts, Southeastern Michigan, and the U. of M.’s Aerospace Department.

To learn more about Bob Howe, read the whole biographical sketch on our website here or click the button below.

Fundamentals of the Analog Computer

The heart of the analog computer is the operational amplifier, which consists of a high-gain dc amplifier with a feedback impedance Zf and input impedances Z1, Z2, and Z3.

Read more about analog computers, as written by Robert M. Howe. While serving on the faculty of the University of Michigan for 41 years, Dr. Howe has written over 100 books, received many honors, and co-founded ADI.

Fundamentals of the Analog Computer in PDF (3MB)

Analog Computers in Academia and Industry

Written by ADI founder Robert Howe, this paper provides a history of analog computing at the University of Michigan and the founding of Applied Dynamics International. In 1947, under the auspices of Project Wizard, Robert Howe and other University of Michigan facility initiated a study of the utility of electronic analog computers for solving engineering problems. This study led directly to the development and use of analog computers for simulation in the laboratory courses associated with the USAF Guided Missiles Training Program. It also spurred a number of follow-on government-sponsored research efforts and the founding in 1957 of the company Applied Dynamics to manufacture and market analog computer systems.

Analog Computers in Academia and Industry in PDF (3.6MB)

Advanced Real Time Powertrain Systems Analysis

This paper describes a combined analytical and experimental hardware-in-the-loop powertrain systems analysis methodology. Central to the implementation of this methodology is a real-time dynamic system simulation computer such as the high-speed Applied Dynamics Model AD10. For automotive engine control system studies, wide bandwidth in-cylinder combustion pressure sensor signals are input to the AD10 computer. Control commands are calculated and communicated at high data rate to throttle valve, spark ignition, and fuel injector actuators. Both simulation and experimental results are presented. Using this approach, the functional improvements associated with various control philosophies can be determined.

Advanced Real Time Powertrain Systems Analysis in PDF (3.6MB)

Nuclear Power Plant Simulation on the AD10

A combination of advanced modeling techniques and AD10 is presented which affords realistic predictions of plant transient and severe off-normal events in LWR power plants through on-line simulations at a speed ten times greater than actual process speeds. Results are shown for a BWR plant simulation. The AD10 of Applied Dynamics INternational is the special-purpose peripheral processor. It is specifically designed for high-speed digital system simulation, accommodate hardware (instrumentation) in the input/output loops, and operates interactively on-line, like an analog computer.

Nuclear Power Plant Simulation on the AD10 in PDF (3.6MB)

Missile Simulation with Actual Hardware Using AD10

This paper outlines hardware-in-the-loop missile simulation performed on the AD10. The Flight Control Simulation Progres (FCSP) is divided into two parts: the Modified Flight Simulator Program (MFSP), which performs the discrete simulation, and the Dynamic System Simulator (DSS), which performs continuous simulation. The DSS resides in two AD-10 computers built by Applied Dynamics International. The DSS performs a continuous simulation, meaning it is not interrupt-driven. The two AD-10 computers, called AD0 and AD1, each contain six special purpose, extremely fast processors which allow the DSS to execute at very high speeds.

Missile Simulation with Actual Hardware Using AD10 in PDF (3.6MB)