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Real-time control of smart structures

Project members: M. Verhaegen, P.R. Fraanje, N. Doelman (TNO)

Smart materials is a notion used for materials that deform when electrically actuated and vice versa produce an electrical signal when they are deformed. What makes these materials ``smart'' is the signal and control processing schemes that actively controls the interaction between the material and structure to which the materials are attached.

These structures can at a large scale be flexible. In that case the smart controller design artificially adapts the stiffness of the structure, or changes its shape in order to optimize the plant performances. Examples are the active shaping of the using profile to maximize the drag in different flight phases. At a nano-scale, smart materials are used for high-precision positioning in, e.g., Atomic Force Microscopes. The research challenges addressed in the project are both fundamental:

  • Modeling and control of the nonlinear phenomenon such as hysteresis and creep of piëzo-electric material;
  • Decentralized control of large scale systems with distributed sensors and actuators;
as well as practically oriented:
  • Real-time implementation of Matlab simulink phototyped control schemes making use of real-time Linux.

Figure 12: Schematic representation of the vibrating plate experimental set-up with collocated piëzo-sensors and actuators; the loudspeaker is the disturbance source.

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