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Published December 1994 | Published
Journal Article Open

Robustness and performance trade-offs in control design for flexible structures


Linear control design models for flexible structures are only an approximation to the "real" structural system. There are always modeling errors or uncertainty present. Descriptions of these uncertainties determine the trade-off between achievable performance and robustness of the control design. In this paper it is shown that a controller synthesized for a plant model which is not described accurately by the nominal and uncertainty models may be unstable or exhibit poor performance when implemented on the actual system. In contrast, accurate structured uncertainty descriptions lead to controllers which achieve high performance when implemented on the experimental facility. It is also shown that similar performance, theoretically and experimentally, is obtained for a surprisingly wide range of uncertain levels in the design model. This suggests that while it is important to have reasonable structured uncertainty models, it may not always be necessary to pin down precise levels (i.e., weights) of uncertainty. Experimental results are presented which substantiate these conclusions.

Additional Information

© 1994 IEEE. "Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE." Manuscript received September 9, 1993. Recommended by Associate Editor, E. Collins. This work was supported in part NASA Langley Control/Structure Interaction Group Grant NAG-1821, NSF Grant ECS-9110254, the University of Minnesota McKnight Land-Grant Professorship Program, and the University of Minnesota Graduate Research Fellowship Program. The authors would like to thank Prof. A. Packard, Dr. K. Lim, Dr. P. Maghami, and Dr. E. Armstrong for many useful discussions.

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August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023