Life-extending control of a reusable rocket engine

Michael Holmes, Sekhar Tangirala, Asok Ray

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The goal of life-extending control is to achieve a trade-off between structural durability and dynamic performance of complex mechanical systems such as aircraft, spacecraft, and energy conversion systems. This paper presents a procedure for synthesis of output feedback life-extending controllers and explores the feasibility of its application to a reusable rocket engine such as the Space Shuttle Main Engine. The reported work focuses on: (i) reduction of fatigue damage in the blades of the oxidizer (O2) and fuel (H2) turbines and (ii) enhancement of engine performance, by simultaneously minimizing the turbine torques and the output tracking errors of the thrust chamber pressure and the O2/H2 mixture ratio. To realize different levels of performance/damage tradeoff, one performance (i.e., without any consideration to damage) controller and three damage-mitigating controllers have been synthesized by using an induced L2-norm method applicable to sampled data systems. Simulation results are presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of the life-extending control concept.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2328-2332
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the American Control Conference
StatePublished - 1997
EventProceedings of the 1997 American Control Conference. Part 3 (of 6) - Albuquerque, NM, USA
Duration: Jun 4 1997Jun 6 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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