Synthesis and control of generalised dynamically substructured systems

DP Stoten, J-Y Tu, G Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
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The experimental technique for testing engineering systems via the method of dynamic substructuring is receiving significant global interest, for example in the fields of large-scale structural, aerospace, and automotive system testing. Dynamically substructured systems (DSSs) enable full-size, critical components of a complete system to be physically tested in real-time, within a laboratory environment, while the remainder of the system is modelled numerically. The intention is that the combined physical–numerical DSS behaves as if it were the complete (or emulated) system. In an ideal mechanical DSS, for example, perfect synchronization of displacements and forces at the interfaces between the numerical and physical components (or substructures) is required. Hence, a key design feature of successful DSS systems is the high fidelity of the control action. Equally, a DSS controller must be able to cope with non-linear, time-varying, and uncertain parameters within the physical substructure dynamics. The main purpose of this paper is to present a generalized DSS framework, together with associated linear and adaptive control strategies, that are specifically tailored to achieve high synchronization performance. The initial studies of this problem, as described in an earlier paper by Stoten and Hyde, are therefore continued by generalizing both the DSS dynamics and the control strategies to include (a) a number of newly defined modes of operation and (b) multivariable dynamics. In addition, comparative implementation and simulation studies are included, based upon the DSS testing of a mechanical system (a planar quasi-motorcycle rig), which was specifically designed to highlight the main features of this research. The comparative studies show that excellent DSS control can be achieved, especially with the addition of an adaptive component to the controller, despite significant changes to the physical substructure dynamics.
Translated title of the contributionSynthesis and control of generalised dynamically substructured systems
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371 - 392
Number of pages21
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part I: Journal of Systems and Control Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Professional Engineering Publishing
UK Engineering and Physical Science Research Council, grant: EP/D036917
Identifier: 0959-6518 (print), 2041-3041 (online)


  • adaptive control
  • dynamic substructuring
  • minimal control synthesis algorithm


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