Robust-adaptive magnetic bearing control of flexible matrix composite rotorcraft driveline

Hans A. DeSmidt, K. W. Wang, E. C. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Recent studies demonstrate that a key advantage of flexible matrix composite (FMC) shaft technology is the ability to accommodate misalignments without need for segmenting or flexible couplings as required by conventional alloy and graphite/epoxy composite shafts. While this is indeed a very promising technology for rotorcraft driveshafts, the high-damping loss-factor, and thermal stiffness and damping sensitivities of the urethane matrix, makes FMC shafting more prone to self-heating and whirl instabilities. Furthermore, the relatively low-bending stiffness and critical speeds of FMC shafts make imbalance vibration a significant challenge to supercritical operation. To address these issues and advance the state of the art, this research explores active magnetic bearing (AMB) technology together with a robust-adaptive hybrid H∞ feedback/synchronous adaptive vibration control law designed to ensure stable supercritical operation of a prototype FMC rotorcraft driveline. The effectiveness of the proposed new approach is demonstrated through analysis of a helicopter driveline testbed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-124
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Helicopter Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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