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Application of Structured Robust Synthesis for Flexible Aircraft Flutter Suppression

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This article presents a method for structured robust control design for systems with a mixture of parametric and dynamic uncertainty. The proposed method alternates between an analysis step and a synthesis step. Samples of the parametric uncertainty are computed during the analysis steps, thus yielding an array of uncertain systems containing only dynamic uncertainty. The controller is then synthesized on this array of uncertain models. This synthesis step itself involves an alternation between constructing a D-scale for each of the uncertain systems and tuning a single controller for the entire collection of scaled plants. The controller tuning is performed using structured control design techniques. The proposed method is utilized to design a flutter suppression controller for a flexible aircraft. The aircraft dynamics are described by both a high-fidelity and a reduced-order model. The design objectives for flutter suppression are to achieve robust stabilization in the presence of mixed uncertainty. The proposed structured design method yields a single, low-order, linear time-invariant (LTI) controller, which increases the flutter speed by 15%. Additional robustness analyses and high-fidelity simulations are provided to assess the controller performance.