Beam analogy for optimal control of linear dynamic systems
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Optimal control problems for linear dynamic systems with quadratic performance index are solved using the beam analogy. The governing equations for the optimal maneuver are derived in the form of coupled fourth order differential equations in the time domain. These equations are uncoupled using modal variables. Next, each independent equation is made analogous to the corresponding problem of a beam on an elastic foundation. The beam problem in the spatial domain is solved using standard FEM software. Finally the FEM results are transferred back to the time domain where they represent the optimal trajectories and controls for the dynamic system.
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