Dynamics and Control of Electrostatic Structures

[+] Author and Article Information
L. Silverberg, L. Weaver

Mars Mission Research Center, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7921

J. Appl. Mech 63(2), 383-391 (Jun 01, 1996) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2788876 History: Received September 20, 1993; Revised March 04, 1995; Online October 26, 2007


This paper formulates the equations governing the dynamics and control of electrostatic structures. Using a Lagrangian mechanics approach, a potential energy function composed of a strain component, an electric component, and a gravitational component is defined. The resulting system of nonlinear ordinary differential equations are linearized about the electrostatic equilibrium leading to a linear system of ordinary differential equations characterized by mass, stiffness, damping, gyroscopic, and circulatory effects. In the absence of feedback control, the damping, gyroscopic, and circulatory effects vanish resulting in a symmetric system that admits normal mode vibration. Voltages applied over the charged subsurfaces (control points) of the electrostatic structure can control its shape. In the presence of feedback controls, control gains can be tailored to produce desirable levels of stiffness and damping. Two different control approaches are studied, one using control points that are attached to the electrostatic structure and one where the control points are fixed in space. Example problems illustrate the dynamics and control; specifically, circumstances that lead to instabilities, shape control using attached control surfaces, shape control using fixed control surfaces, and electrostatic damping.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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