Self-configurable digital controllers for smart structural systems using FPGAs

Venkat Raghavan Satagopan, Vittal S. Rao, Kyle Mitchell, Hardy Pottinger

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Smart structural systems require control systems, which are integrated into structures, to be small, light weight and power-efficient. Re-configurable digital signal processing using Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) is now preferred over Digital Signal Processors (DSPs) and Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) for high performance applications. The FPGAs, due to their re-programmable and dynamic nature, are more suitable in developing hardware implementations because several configurations can be tested and experimented easily without any additional hardware cost. Being small, lightweight and power-efficient, FPGAs are one of the best platforms for building controllers for smart structures. Distributed Arithmetic is a widely used technique for hardware efficient implementations of inner product between a fixed and a variable data vectors. The computational requirements of smart structural controller match this type very well. The objective of the research is to design easily configurable, stand-alone smart controller, which could be used for real-time control applications. Self-configurable controllers are implemented and tested on a cantilevered beam.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-257
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2002
EventSmart Structures and Materials 2002: Smart Electronics, MEMS, and Nanotechnology - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 18 2002Mar 21 2002


  • Distributed Arithmetic
  • FPGA
  • Re-configurable
  • Self-Configurable System
  • Smart Controller


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