Robust control of flexible structures using multiple shape memory alloy actuators

R. Lashlee, R. Butler, V. Rao, F. Kern

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The design and implementation of control strategies for large, flexible smart structures presents challenging problems. To demonstrate the capabilities of shape-memory-alloy actuators, we have designed and fabricated a three-mass test article with multiple shape-memory-alloy (NiTiNOL) actuators. The force and moment actuators were implemented on the structure to examine the effects of control structure interaction and to increase actuation force. These SMA actuators exhibit nonlinear effects due to deadband and saturation. The first step in the modeling process was the experimental determination of the transfer function matrix derived from frequency response data. A minimal state space representation was determined based on this transfer function matrix. Finally in order to reduce the order of the controller, a reduced order state space model was derived from the minimal state space representation. The simplified analytical models are compared with models developed by structural identification techniques based on vibration test data. From the reduced order model, a controller was designed to dampen vibrations in the test bed. To minimize the effects of uncertainties on the closed-loop system performance of smart structures, a LQG/LTR control methodology has been utilized. An initial standard LQG/LTR controller was designed; however, this controller could not achieve the desired performance robustness due to saturation effects. Therefore, a modified LQG/LTR design methodology was implemented to accommodate for the limited control force provided by the actuators. The closed-loop system response of the multiple input-multiple output (MIMO) test article with robustness verification has been experimentally obtained and presented in the paper. The modified LQG/LTR controller demonstrated performance and stability robustness to both sensor noise and parameter variations.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 1993
Event1st IEEE Regional Conference on Aerospace Control Systems, AEROCS 1993 - Westlake Village, United States
Duration: May 25 1993May 27 1993


Conference1st IEEE Regional Conference on Aerospace Control Systems, AEROCS 1993
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWestlake Village


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