Dynamics and Control of Smart Structures for Space Applications
Orszulik, Ryan Russell
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Smart materials are one of the key emerging technologies for a variety of space systems ranging in their applications from instrumentation to structural design. The underlying principle of smart materials is that they are materials that can change their properties based on an input, typically a voltage or current. When these materials are incorporated into structures, they create smart structures. This work is concerned with the dynamics and control of three smart structures: a membrane structure with shape memory alloys for control of the membrane surface flatness, a flexible manipulator with a collocated piezoelectric sensor/actuator pair for active vibration control, and a piezoelectric nanopositioner for control of instrumentation. Shape memory alloys are used to control the surface flatness of a prototype membrane structure. As these actuators exhibit a hysteretic nonlinearity, they need their own controller to operate as required. The membrane structures surface flatness is then controlled by the shape memory alloys, and two techniques are developed: genetic algorithm and proportional-integral controllers. This would represent the removal of one of the main obstacles preventing the use of membrane structures in space for high precision applications, such as a C-band synthetic aperture radar antenna. Next, an adaptive positive position feedback law is developed for control of a structure with a collocated piezoelectric sensor/actuator pair, with unknown natural frequencies. This control law is then combined with the input shaping technique for slew maneuvers of a single-link flexible manipulator. As an alternative to the adaptive positive position feedback law, genetic algorithms are investigated as both system identification techniques and as a tool for optimal controller design in vibration suppression. These controllers are all verified through both simulation and experiments. The third area of investigation is on the nonlinear dynamics and control of piezoelectric actuators for nanopositioning applications. A state feedback integral plus double integral synchronization controller is designed to allow the piezoelectrics to form the basis of an ultra-precise 2-D Fabry-Perot interferometer as the gap spacing of the device could be controlled at the nanometer level. Next, an output feedback linear integral control law is examined explicitly for the piezoelectric actuators with its nonlinear behaviour modeled as an input nonlinearity to a linear system. Conditions for asymptotic stability are established and then the analysis is extended to the derivation of an output feedback integral synchronization controller that guarantees global asymptotic stability under input nonlinearities. Experiments are then performed to validate the analysis. In this work, the dynamics and control of these smart structures are addressed in the context of their three applications. The main objective of this work is to develop effective and reliable control strategies for smart structures that broaden their applicability to space systems.