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Tensegrity Flight Simulator Based on Tendon Control.by Sultan, Corless, Skelton 2000

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Cornel Sultan¤ and Martin Corless†

Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907-1282

and

Robert E. Skelton‡

University of California, San Diego, California 92093-0411

is equipped with a nonlinear controller that achieves robust tracking of desired motions. The controller parameters

can be tuned to guarantee tracking to within a prespeci ed tolerance and with a prescribed rate of exponential

convergence. The design is veri ed through numerical simulations for speci c longitudinal motions of a symmetric

aircraft.

b = side length of the base and cabin triangles con guration

Cd = aerodynamic coef cient of drag TS = tension in saddle tendons in a prestressable

Cl = aerodynamic coef cient of lift con guration

CM = aerodynamic coef cient of the pitching moment Tn = tension in the nth tendon

c̃ = mean aerodynamic chord of aircraft wing Tr = aircraft thrust

D = drag Ta = vector of tensions in active tendons

Dr = rest-length of diagonal tendons Tp = vector of tensions in passive tendons

D0 = length of diagonal tendons in a prestressable t = time

con guration V = potential elastic energy

g = gravitational acceleration constant of the Earth v = aircraft speed

hg = overlap X, Y, Z = Cartesian coordinates of the mass center of

I = identity matrix the second stage

J = inertia matrix of the simulator’s second stage Xa = aircraft horizontal range

Ja = aircraft moment of inertia around the pitch axis Za = aircraft altitude

K = Hessian of the potential energy a a = aircraft angle of attack

k = tendon stiffness c = rate of exponential convergence

kia = stiffness of the i th active tendon d e = elevator de ection angle

kn = stiffness of the nth tendon d f = ap de ection angle

L = lift h a = aircraft pitch angle

l = length of bars q a = air density

lia = length of the i th active tendon s = time constant

ln = length of the nth tendon w ,u ,h = Euler angles of the second-stage reference frame

lrai = rest-length of the i th active tendon x y = aircraft pitch rate

lrn = rest-length of the nth tendon

M(q) = tensegrity simulator inertia matrix

Mt = mass of the second stage Introduction

My = aerodynamic pitching moment about the aircraft The credit for making simulated ight a reality goes to Edwin

mass center Link for providing aviation with the rst xed-based ight trainer.

ma = aircraft mass Link’s trainer of 1932 was, in the inventor’s words, part piano, part

nu = number of active tendons pipe organ, and a little bit of airplane,1 and it played a major part

P = pretension coef cient in aviation training for the rst 20 years of commercial and military

q = generalized coordinates vector for simulator ight. Since then the technology of ight simulation has kept pace

qa = generalized coordinates vector for aircraft with the technological advances in the aerospace industry.

qg = simulator equilibrium con guration The six-degree-of-freedom (DOF) Stewart platform is the most

q0 = simulator prestressable con guration popular motion base for ight/motion simulators.2 A very advanced

q̃ = tracking error six-DOF Stewart platform ight simulator is the one operated by

r = tracking tolerance NASA Ames at Moffett Field, California. This simulator, which

S = lifting surface of the wing became operational in 1993, is an exact replica of the cockpit of a

Sr = rest-length of saddle tendons United Airlines Boeing 747-400 and it has unique research capabil-

S0 = length of saddle tendons in a prestressable ities. A detailed description of this facility can be found in Sullivan

con guration and Soukup3 and Blake.4

The Stewart platform is a complex and expensive mechanism

because the control of its motion presents great technological dif -

culties because of the telescopic actuators. It is a well-known fact in

Received 10 May 1999; revision received 2 February 2000; accepted for

motion simulators circles that the operation of a telescopic actuator

publication 7 February 2000. Copyright ° c 2000 by the American Institute

of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved. presents dif culties, especially at large amplitudes and large accel-

¤ Research Assistant, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics; currently erations. This is because of the large and rapid excursions of the

at Molecular Geodesics Inc., Boston, MA 02119. Member AIAA. actuators, generating large loads on the structure of the simulator.

† Professor, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. These loads, of both an inertial and dissipative nature, result in a

‡ Professor, Department of Engineering Mechanics. Fellow AIAA. heavy structure and a large associated cooling system. The life of a

1055

1056 SULTAN, CORLESS, AND SKELTON

telescopic actuator is also limited because of the signi cant wearing tracking error to a ball of prespeci ed radius, with a prespeci ed

that occurs during its operation. rate of convergence. This controller has two important advantages

To reduce the complexity of the motion base, there has been over other tracking controllers:It is a continuouscontroller, and it is

renewed interest in reduced-DOF simulators. However, relatively simple to implement because it does not involve the computation of

little work has been devoted to the design of reduced-DOF mo- the regressor matrix.30 It is a known fact that exact tracking usually

tion bases or to the evaluation of the quality of motion sensations results in discontinuous controllers that are undesirable for several

that can be produced by these devices.5 Pouliot et al.6 analyzed the reasons (see Corless31 ).

simulation realism that can be achieved using motion bases with The paper is organized as follows. First a description of the pro-

only three DOF; the advantage of the reduced complexity of the posed tensegrity simulator is given, followed by the derivation of its

design is important for large transport aircraft for which it produces equations of motion. The statics of the simulator is analyzed and the

good quality motion simulation. The weak point of the proposed equilibrium con gurations are mathematically characterized.Next,

three-DOF simulators is their inability to simulate high frequency the design of the nonlinear robust tracking controller is presented.

accelerations (see Pouliot et al.6 ). Also, because the motion of the The performance of the simulator equipped with this controller is

reduced DOF simulators is controlled by telescopic actuators, the then evaluatedby simulating speci c longitudinalmotions of a sym-

problems associated with these actuators are not eliminated. metric aircraft.

Another important problem for motion simulators is that of con-

trol system design. Many control synthesistechniqueshave been ap- Tensegrity Simulator

plied to simulator motion control system design, including classical, A perspective view of a two-stage tensegrity simulator is given

adaptive,7,8 and optimal control.9,10 Reid and Nahon11 and Nahon in Fig. 1. The rst stage consists of a base with three bars

and Reid12 implemented classical, adaptive, and optimal control al- (A i1 Bi1 , i = 1, 2, 3) rigidly attached (clamped) to it. The second

gorithms on the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Stud- stage consistsof a cabin with three bars (A i2 Bi2 , i = 1, 2, 3) clamped

ies six-DOF ight simulator to obtain pilot evaluations of the corre- to it. Twelve tendons connect the end points of the bars. The six ten-

sponding motion quality. They indicated that classical and adaptive dons characterized by Bi 1 A j2 are classi ed as saddle tendons. The

algorithms are generally preferred by pilots. As a result, a combi- remaining six, Ai 1 A j2 and Bi 1 B j2 , are called diagonal tendons. For

nation of the best features of classical and adaptive schemes into a mathematical modeling we assume that the tendons are massless

hybrid scheme was later performed, including the incorporation of and linear elastic, whereas the base, cabin, and bars are rigid.

nonlinear adaptive lters.13 For simplicity, the base and cabin triangles A11 A21 A 31 and

Additional dif culties in the control of motion simulators result B12 B22 B32 , respectively, are chosen to be congruent equilateral tri-

from uncertainties in the simulator dynamics. These uncertainties angles. We also assume that all bars are identical and that they are

are due, for example, to changes in the simulator inertial properties connected to the base and cabin so that the angles made by their

and uncertaintiesin the drive system dynamics. Hence, a robust con- axes of symmetry with the perpendicular to triangle A11 A21 A 31 or

trol design strategy should be applied. Idan and Sahar14 proposed B12 B22 B32 are all equal; we call this angle d and we restrict it to sat-

a robust controller for a six-DOF ight simulator. The controller isfy 0 < d < 90 deg. For d = 0 the bars are orthogonalto the triangles

design is based on a linearized model of the simulator dynamics to- and for d = 90 deg their axes of symmetry belong to the triangles.

gether with an uncertainty model that describes the variation of the The angles made by the projections of the bars Ai 1 Bi 1 (i = 1, 2, 3)

simulator weight. The design is performed using l -synthesis tech- onto the A11 A 21 A 31 plane with the vector A11 A31 are a , a + 240,

niques and the controller is designed for lateral motion simulation, a + 120, respectively (see Fig. 2 for the de nitions of a and d ).

for which the linearized model of a DC-8 aircraft is used. Numeri- Similarly the angles made by the projections of the bars Ai 2 Bi2

cal simulations show that good quality lateral motion simulation is (i = 1, 2, 3) onto the B12 B22 B32 plane with B12 B32 are a , a + 240,

achieved. a + 120, respectively.

In this paper we propose a six-DOF motion simulator that elim- As an inertial reference frame, we choose an orthonormal dextral

inates the problems created by telescopic actuators. The structure set of vectors e1 , e2 , e3 with origin at the geometric center of triangle

of the simulator is a tensegrity structure that has no bar to bar con- A11 A 21 A 31 . The vector e3 is orthogonal to this triangle, pointing

nections and no rigid bodies sliding with respect to each other. The upward, whereas e1 is parallel to A11 A31 . We introduce a reference

motion of the simulator is controlled by tendons, leading to the frame s1 , s2 , s3 , called the second-stage reference frame and xed

elimination of telescopic actuators. in this stage. Its origin is at the mass center of the second stage,

A tensegrity structure is a special type of space structure com- which is assumed to coincide with the geometric center of triangle

posed of a set of tendons that are prestressed against a system of

rigid bodies, usually bars.15 Tensegritystructuresoffer excellentop-

portunities for physically integrated structure and controller design

because the elastic components provide excellent opportunities for

the sensing and actuating functions.

Although the origins of tensegrity structures can be pinpointed to

1927 (see Snelson16 ), the main investigations have been carried out

during the last 40 years. Tensegrity structures were looked on from

an engineering perspective for the rst time by Fuller.17 Geometri-

cal investigationsfollowed, most of them being reported in Fuller17

and Pugh.18 Approaches using mechanics have been developed re-

cently and research into tensegritystructureshas become systematic

and aimed at establishingthe theoretical framework for the analysis

and design of these structures. Pellegrino and Calladine,19 Motro

et al.,20 and Hanaor21 have made important contributions toward

further knowledge of the statics of these structures. Linear dynamic

analysis results have been published by Motro et al.20 and Furuya.22

Nonlinear dynamics and control design studies have been reported

by Skelton and Sultan23 and Sultan and Skelton.24 Applications of

tensegrity structures are now being proposed, ranging from tenseg-

rity domes (see Hanaor25 and Wang and Liu26 ) to tensegrity sensors

(Sultan and Skelton27 ) and space telescopes (Sultan et al.28 ).

In this paper, we design a nonlinear robust tracking controller for

simulator motion control. The controller, which has been derived

in Zenieh and Corless,29 assures exponential convergence of the Fig. 1 Two-stage tensegrity simulator.

SULTAN, CORLESS, AND SKELTON 1057

characterized by

sion is called a feasible equilibrium con guration.We are interested

in feasible equilibrium con gurations for which the cabin and base

triangles are parallel and their mass centers are vertically aligned,

i.e., qg is given by

qg = [ w g 0 0 0 0 Z g ]T (9)

Fig. 2 De nition of ® and ±. At a feasible con guration characterized by Eq. (9) the diagonal

tendons A i1 A j2 have the same length, D1 , the diagonal tendons

B12 B22 B32 . The vector s3 is orthogonal to this triangle, pointing Bi 1 B j2 have the same length, D2 , the saddle tendons Bi 1 Ai 2 have

upward, whereas s1 is parallel to B12 B32 . the same length, S1 , and the saddle tendons B11 A 32 , B21 A 12 , B31 A22

The simulator has six degrees of freedom. As independentgener- have the same length, S2 . These lengths are given by

alized coordinates we choose w , u , h , the Euler angles for a 3-1-2

sequence to characterize the orientation of the second-stage refer- D1 = (2b 2 / 3)[1 + cos(w g ¡ 60)] + h 2g + l 2 ¡ 2lh g cos(d )

ence frame relative to the inertial reference frame, and X , Y , Z , the

Cartesian coordinates of the mass center of the second stage rela- p 1

+ 2 / 3 lb sin(d )[cos(a + 30) + sin(w g ¡ a )] 2

(10)

coordinates is given by

D2 = (2b 2 / 3)[1 ¡ cos(w g) ] + h 2g + l 2 ¡ 2lh g cos(d )

q = [w u h X Y Z ]T (1)

p 1

(11)

The derivation of the second-ordernonlinearordinarydifferential

equations that describe the dynamics of the tensegrity simulator, S1 = (2b2 / 3)[1 + cos(w g ¡ 60) ] + h 2g + l 2 sin2 (d )

carried out using the Lagrange methodology, yields the following: p 1

+ 2 / 3 lb sin(d )[sin(w ¡ a ¡ 60) ¡ sin(a ) ] 2

(12)

M(q) q̈ + c(q, qÇ ) + A(q)T(q) + Ĝ = 0 (2) g

The system inertia matrix M(q) has the structure S2 = (2b 2 / 3)[1 ¡ cos(w g) ] + h 2g + l 2 sin2 (d )

T

X JX 0 p 1

M(q) = (3) + 2 / 3 lb sin(d )[sin(a ¡ 60) + cos(w g ¡ a ¡ 30)] 2

(13)

0 Mt I

respectively. The overlap h g , de ned as the distance between trian-

where

gles A12 A 22 A 32 and B11 B21 B31 and related to Z g by h g = 2l cos(d ) ¡

¡ cos(u ) sin(h ) cos(h ) 0 Z g , is positive (h g > 0) if the distance between A12 A 22 A 32 and

X = sin(u ) 0 1 A11 A 21 A 31 is smaller than the distance between B11 B21 B31 and

cos(u ) cos(h ) sin(h ) 0 A11 A 21 A 31 .

For simplicity we assume that all tendons have the same stiffness

The inertia matrix of the second stage J is calculated with respect k, all the diagonal tendons have the same rest-length Dr , and all

to the second-stage reference frame. The components of the vector the saddle tendons have the same rest-length Sr . Hence tensions in

c(q, qÇ ) are quadratic functions of qÇ and are given by tendons of length D1 , D2 , S1 , S2 are equal to

6 6

@ Mi j 1 @M jm TD1 = k( D1 ¡ Dr ) / Dr , T D2 = k( D2 ¡ Dr ) / Dr

ci = ¡ Çq j Çqm for i = 1, . . . , 6

@qm 2 @qi

j =1 m =1

TS1 = k(S1 ¡ Sr ) / Sr , TS2 = k(S2 ¡ Sr ) / Sr (14)

(4)

The vector c(q, qÇ ) can be expressed as respectively.

The requirement that the feasible equilibrium con gurations

c(q, qÇ ) = C(q, qÇ ) qÇ (5) are characterized by Eq. (9) must hold for Ĝ varying in a certain

The matrix C (q, qÇ ) is not unique, however, if it is chosen according domain, i.e., the design should tolerate variations in the mass of the

to cabin. If we substitute Eq. (9) into Eqs. (7) and (8), we obtain the

conditions these feasible equilibrium con gurations must satisfy

6

1 @ Mi j @M im @M j m

Ci j = + + Çqm A g Tg + [ 0 M t g ]T = 0

2 @qm @q j @qi

m =1

TD1 > 0, TD2 > 0, TS1 > 0, TS2 > 0 (15)

for i = 1, . . . , 6 and j = 1, . . . , 6 (6)

Ç Here Tg = [TD1 TD2 TS1 TS2 ]T and A g is a 2 £ 4 matrix given in

then the matrix M(q) ¡ 2C(q, Çq) is skew-symmetric. The vector Appendix B. To solve these conditions for the feasible equilibrium

A(q)T(q) represents the generalized forces because of the tendons con gurations (w g and Z g ), we have to choose the rest-lengths of

in tension, where A mn = @ln / @qm (m = 1, . . . , 6, n = 1, . . . , 12) and the tendons. In the following we shall choose the rest-lengths of

Tn = (kn / lrn )(ln ¡ lrn ) (n = 1, . . . , 12). The expressions for ln are

the tendons using certain feasible equilibrium con gurations of the

given in Appendix A. The vector Ĝ = [0 0 0 0 0 Mt g ]T repre- tensegrity structure, called prestressable con gurations.

sents the generalized forces due to the gravitational force eld.

Tensegrity Simulator Statics Prestressable Con gurations

Using Eq. (2), all equilibrium con gurations qg of the tensegrity Consider the case when no gravity is present, i.e., Ĝ = 0. The cor-

simulator are given by respondingfeasible equilibrium con gurations are called prestress-

able con gurations. Let q0 denote a prestressablecon guration. We

A(qg )T(q g ) + Ĝ = 0 (7) impose the condition that at the equilibrium q0 the second stage is

1058 SULTAN, CORLESS, AND SKELTON

obtainedfrom the rst through a clockwiserotation of 60 deg around The second derivative of the potential energy with respect to the

the axis e3 , i.e., w 0 = 300 deg and generalized coordinates is given by

@V

q0 = [300 0 0 0 0 Z0] (16) Ki j = , i = 1, . . . , 6, j = 1, . . . , 6 (27)

@qi @q j

With this geometry, all saddle and diagonal tendons have the same If we evaluate K at a prestressable con guration characterized by

lengths given by q0 = [300 0 0 0 0 2l cos(d ) ¡ h 0 ] with h 0 given by Eq. (21) and

p 1

use the corresponding rest-lengths given by Eq. (25) we get

S0 = h 20 + b2 / 3 + l 2 sin2 (d ) ¡ 2 / 3 lb sin(d ) cos(a ¡ 30) 2

(17) K 0 = diag[ K 11 K 11 / 2 K 11 / 2 K 44 K 44 K 44 ] (28)

p 1

D0 = l 2 + b 2 / 3 + h 20 ¡ 2lh 0 cos(d ) ¡ 2 / 3 lb sin(d ) sin(a ) 2 where

(18) p

K 11 = 2b2 (TS / S0 + TD / D 0 ) + 2 3lb sin(d )

respectively.Here h 0 = 2l cos(d ) ¡ Z 0 is the overlap in the prestress-

able con guration q0 . £ [(TS / S0 ) sin(a + 60) + (TD / D0 ) sin(a ) ] (29)

In this con guration, the tensions in the saddle and diagonal ten-

dons are equal to TS and TD , respectively, hence the rst condition K 44 = 12(TS / S0 + T D / D0 ) (30)

in Eq. (15) reduces to For (a , d ) 2 (30, 90) £ (0, 90) and for P > 0 we have K 11 > 0 and

K 44 > 0, yielding K 0 > 0, which proves that these prestressablecon-

cos(a ) / D0 cos(a + 60) / S0 TD gurations are stable.

=0 (19)

[h 0 ¡ l cos(d ) ]/ D0 h 0 / S0 TS For simulator design we choose the values of a and d such that

suf cient clearance between the bars is guaranteed. For this pur-

pose we proceed as follows. Consider a pair (a , d ) and compute the

The second of the preceding equations (h 0 ¡ l cos(d ))(TD / D0 ) +

h 0 (TS / S0 ) = 0 and the condition that 0 < d < 90 deg show that in minimum distance dimn j between two bars A i j Bi j and A mn Bm n . The

problemof minimum distance between their axes of symmetry leads

order for the tensions to be positive (TD > 0, TS > 0), we must have

to a constrained quadratic optimization problem:

0 < h 0 < l cos(d ) (20) dimj n = min(w T H w + f T w + c), w = [w 1 w 2]

w

Equation (19) must hold for nonzero [TD TS ]T , thus the determi- 0 · w 1,2 · 1 (31)

nant of the 2 £ 2 matrix multiplying [T D TS ]T must be zero; this is

equivalent to k v1 k 2

¡ v1 ¢ v2

H = 2

¡ v1 ¢ v2 k v2 k

l cos(d ) cos(a + 60)

h0 = ¡ (21)

cos(a ¡ 60) f T = [ ¡ 2a¢ v1 2a¢ v2 ], c = k ak 2

(32)

The constraint 0 < h 0 < l cos(d ) leads to 30 deg < a < 90 deg or where a = Ai j Am n , v1 = Ai j Bi j , v2 = Am n Bm n .

210 deg < a < 270 deg. Solving Eq. (19) for the tensions, we obtain We denote by d(a , d ) the minimum of dimj n over all pos-

that sible combinations of bars, i.e., over all (i, j ), (m, n) pairs

[i = 1, 2, 3, j = 1, 2, m = 1, 2, 3, n = 1, 2, (i, j ) 6 = (m, n) ]. Follow-

TS = P T0S , TD = PT0 D (22) ing this analysis we choose a = d = 60 deg that, for l = 5 m,

b = 3.33 m, yields a clearance d(a , d ) = 1.2 m. This procedure as-

where sumes that the prestressablecon gurationand the actualequilibrium

con guration (when the gravitational eld is acting) do not differ

1 l cos(d ) ¡ h 0 D0 too much.

T0S T0 D = p

6 h0 S0

Feasible Equilibrium Con gurations

1 The feasible equilibrium con gurations of interest are character-

£ (23)

k {[(l cos(d ) ¡ h 0 ) / h 0 ]( D0 / S0 )}k ized by Eqs. (15). We assume that the rest-lengths of the tendons

are given by Eq. (25). For Mt = 0, G = Mt g = 0 and we know that

is a normalized vector such that the Euclidean norm of the vector T Eqs. (15) have a solution; thus we expect them to have a solution

of all tensions is one for P = 1. for small Mt 6 = 0. A continuation procedure can be applied to solve

Using the expressions for the tensions TS and TD , for these solutions as follows: slightly increase Mt and solve the

two nonlinear equations A g Tg + [0 Mt g ]T = 0 for w g and h g (us-

TS = (k / Sr )(S0 ¡ Sr ), TD = (k / Dr )( D0 ¡ Dr ) (24) ing classical nonlinear solvers like Newton– Raphson), then check

if Tgi > 0 (i = 1, . . . , 4). If this happens, then we have found a new

we get the following expressionsfor Sr and Dr in terms of h 0 and P: feasible equilibrium con guration with qg = [w g 0 0 0 0 Z g ]T

where Z g = 2l cos(d ) ¡ h g . We continue to increase Mt and repeat

Sr = k S0 T0 S P + k , Dr = k D0 T0 D P + k (25) the procedureuntil one of the tendons becomes slack or when the Mt

of interest is reached. To illustrate the application of this procedure,

a graph of the variation of w g and Z g with the mass of the second

An important issue in tensegrity structures research is the sta- stage (top), Mt , is given in Fig. 3 for the following characteristics:

bility of the prestressable con gurations.16 It can be shown that

for (a , d ) 2 (30, 90) £ (0, 90) the prestressable con gurations pre- l = 5 m, b = 3.33 m, a = 60 deg, d = 60 deg

viously analyzed are stable. Indeed, consider the potential energy

of the structure in the absence of the gravitational eld: 2

P = 2000, k = 5000 N, g = 9.81 m s ¡ (33)

12

kn 2

At all points on these curves the distances between bars were com-

V = ln ¡ lrn (26) puted to ascertain if the bars intersect. This did not happen (the

lrn

n =1 minimum distance between two bars was 0.7 m).

SULTAN, CORLESS, AND SKELTON 1059

usually leads to a discontinuouscontrollerthat is undesirablefor sev-

eral reasons (see Corless31 ). However, if we only require tracking

to within some prespeci ed tolerance r we can design a contin-

uous controller (see Zenieh and Corless29 ). Speci cally, given r,

c > 0, we can design a controller so that the closed-loop system is a

robust r ¡ c tracker; namely, there exists scalarsc1 and c2 such that,

for any desired (twice continuously differentiable) trajectory qd (¢ )

and any uncertainty l 2 D every solution satis es

k q̃(t )k · (c1 k q̃(t0 )k + c2k q̃Ç (t0 )k ) exp( ¡ c (t ¡ t0 )) + r

for t ¸ t0 (39)

rate c to the ball of radius r de ned by k q̃k · r.

To apply the results of Zenieh and Corless29 for controller design,

it is assumed that there exists positive constants b 0 , b 1 , b 2 , b 3 , such

that for all q, qÇ , and l ,

Fig. 3 Variation of Ãg and Zg with mass of second stage. 0< b 0I · M(q, l ) · b 1 I, k C(q, qÇ , l )k · b 2 k qÇ k

The control inputs for the simulator are the rest-lengthsof some of If we express C(q, qÇ , l ) as C(q, qÇ , l ) = diag( qÇ T ) C̃(q, l ) we

the tendons.For further analysis, we separate the tendons into active get k C(q, qÇ , l )k · k C̃ (q, l )k k qÇ k . Thus b 2 can be chosen to an up-

tendons of controlled rest-lengths and passive tendons of xed rest- per bound on the maximum singular value of C̃(q, l ).

lengths. Using Eqs. (2) and (5), the behavior of the simulator is Because analytical determination of the bounds b 0 , b 1 , b 2 , b 3 is

described by not usually possible, they are numerically determined. One ap-

proach is to discretize the problem by gridding D and the do-

M(q) q̈ + C(q, qÇ ) qÇ + A p (q)T p (q) + A a (q)T a + Ĝ = 0 (34)

main in the space of generalized coordinates in which it is

where the components of T p and T a are the tensions in the passive reasonable to assume that the system trajectories lie. Let (qi , l i )

and active tendons, respectively. (i = 1, . . . , N ) denote N grid points. We evaluate the minimum

For robust control design we consider that the mass of the second and maximum eigenvalues of M(qi , l i ) (called k mini and k maxi , re-

stage may be uncertain.The uncertaintyis representedby the lumped spectively), the maximum singular value of C̃ (qi , l i ) (called r max i ),

uncertain term l 2 D , where D is a known nonempty set. Thus the and the quantity Fi = k u0 + A p (qi)T p (qi) + Ĝ(l i )k . Any positive

equations of motion transform to number smaller than the minimum of {k mini , i = 1, . . . , N } can be

chosen as b 0 , whereas any number greater than the maximum of

M(q, l ) q̈ + C(q, qÇ , l ) qÇ + A p (q)T p (q) {k maxi , i = 1, . . . , N } can be chosen as b 1 . Similarly any number

greater than the maximum of {r maxi , i = 1, . . . , N } can be chosen

+ A a (q)T a + Ĝ(l ) = 0 (35) as b 2 and a number greater than the maximum of {Fi , i = 1, . . . , N }

For further analysis we write the equations of motion as can be chosen as b 3 . A ner grid can be used to test if the chosen

values are satisfactory.

M(q, l ) q̈ + C(q, qÇ , l ) qÇ + u0 + A p (q)T p (q) + Ĝ(l ) = u (36) In Zenieh and Corless29 the following nonlinear, continuouscon-

troller has been proposed for robust tracking control of a general

where class of mechanical systems:

´, q = b 1k Çºk + b 2 k ºk + b 3

Here q g is a feasible equilibrium con guration. Under the assump- º = qÇ d ¡ K q̃, ´ = q̃Ç + K q̃ (41)

tion of invertibility of Aa (q), Eq. (37) can be solved for the active

rest-lengths lra1 , . . . , lran u ; speci cally, Here Q, K , and ² satisfy

lrai = for i = 1, . . . , n u (38) (42)

kia + Tia

where k min (Q) denotes the minimum eigenvalue of the positive-

where T a , the vector of active tensions, is given by T a =

Aa (q) ¡ 1 (u0 ¡ u). de nite symmetric matrix Q.

The resulting closed-loop system has been shown to be a robust

The issue of active tendon selection is addressed next. Be-

r ¡ c tracker with

cause the number of generalized coordinates is six, the system

will be controlled with six tendons. The six are chosen by an- c1 = 1 + k max (K )c2 , c2 = b 1 / b 0 (c 1 ¡ c )

alyzing the properties of the matrix A(qg ). Speci cally, we con-

sider the set of all matrices created by combining any six columns c 1 =k min ( Q) / b 1 (43)

of A(qg ); let these matrices be denoted by A i (i = 1, . . . , 924).

We compute the corresponding set of minimum singular values where k max (K ) is the maximum eigenvalue of the positive-denite

r i = r min ( A i ) (i = 1, . . . , 924). The A i , which yields the maximum symmetric matrix K (see Zenieh and Corless29 ).

of {r i , i = 1, . . . , 924}, provides the set of active tendons. Applying

this procedure with the data in Eqs. (33) and with qg corresponding Simulating Longitudinal Motions

to the nominal mass M t = 140 kg of the simulator, we obtain that the of a Symmetric Aircraft

set of saddle tendons is the best choice for the set of active tendons. In ight simulation, the desired motion qd (¢ ) to be tracked by the

Let qd (¢ ) : IR ! IR6 be a desired motion of the simulator. Ideally, simulator is generated by the motion of an aircraft. We consider

we wish to design a controllersuch that every motion q(¢ ) : IR ! IR6 here the longitudinalmotion of a symmetric aircraft. A longitudinal

of the closed-loopsystem convergesto the desired motion exponen- motion of a symmetric aircraft can occur when the resultant force

tially. We also want to specify the rate of convergence c a priori. belongs to the longitudinal plane of symmetry of the aircraft and

1060 SULTAN, CORLESS, AND SKELTON

the resultant torque is orthogonal to it. Using a single rigid-body capability of the tensegrity simulator equipped with the nonlinear

model to describe the longitudinal motion of a symmetric aircraft robust tracking controller to track the desired motion at the onset of

and assuming no wind, the following equations of motion can be the acceleration, i.e., immediately after an aerodynamic or throttle

derived through the application of the laws of mechanics: command is applied.

We now considerthe followingscenario.The aircraftis in uniform

XÇ a = v cos(h a ¡ a a ), ZÇ a = ¡ v sin(h a ¡ a a ), hÇa =x y rectilinear translation; correspondingly,the simulator is in equilib-

rium, characterized by q g . Then, a command that does not take the

m a Çv = Tr cos a a ¡ D ¡ m a g sin(h a ¡ a a) aircraft out of its longitudinal ight is performed. As a result the

simulator should undergo a motion to track the desired trajectory:

m a v Ça a = ¡ Tr sin a a ¡ L + m a g cos(h a ¡ a a) + m a vx y

qd = [w g 0 h d

Xd 0 Z d ]T (49)

Ja Çx y = My (44)

where

The horizontal range (X a ) and the altitude (Z a ) of the aircraft are

measured with respect to a dextral set of unit vectors f1 , f2 , f3 , at- h d

=h a ¡ h a0 , Xd = Xa ¡ XÇ a0 t ¡ X a0

tached to the Earth. The motion is assumed to take place in the

vertical f1 ¡ f3 plane with f3 vertical. In this model, we neglect the Z d = Za ¡ ZÇ a0 t ¡ Z a0 + Z g (50)

gyroscopic couples (because of rotating rigid bodies) as well as a

propulsion contributionto the pitching moment (because of offset of For simplicity we assume that the second-stage reference frame

the resultant thrust from the aircraft center of mass). For simulator is central principal for the second stage such that its inertia matrix J

design we shall use the vector qa of generalized coordinates of the is diagonal, J = diag[ J1 J2 J3 ]. We choose the following nominal

aircraft de ned by inertial parameters for the simulator:

qa = [w a u a h a Xa Ya Z a ]T (45) Mt = 140 kg, J1 = 300 kg m2

By the choiceof the inertialreferenceframe attachedto the Earth, the J2 = 400 kg m2 , J3 = 500 kg m 2 (51)

aircraftmotion takes place in a vertical plane and we have w a = u a =

Ya = 0. The geometric and elastic parameters are those given in Eqs. (33).

The aerodynamic forces L, D, and the pitching moment M y are The controller is designed using the following parameters:

given by

c = 25, r = 0.2, b 0 = 90, b 1 = 700, b 2 = 500

2 2

L = q a Sv 2 Cl , D = q a Sv 2 Cd

b 3 = 40000, ² = 56252, K = 26I, Q = 17501I

My = q a Sv

2

c̃ 2 C M (46) (52)

For small variations of the Mach number, the aerodynamic coef - The bounds b i (i = 0, 1, 2, 3) have been determined based on a grid

cients can be consideredindependentof this parameter. For a certain of the set £ D where D = [90, 190] kg and

aircraft, whose dynamic properties are analyzed in Sultan,32 these + 30] £ [ ¡ 30, 30] £ [ ¡ 30, 30]

= [w g ¡ 30, w g

coef cients depend on a a , d e , and d f , and are given in Appendix C.

The atmosphere model used here yields the following dependency £ [ ¡ b / 3, b / 3] £ [ ¡ b / 3, b / 3]

of the air density q a on the altitude Z a :

3 £ [ Z g ¡ b / 3, Z g + b / 3]

q a = 1.22625 exp[4.256 log(1 ¡ Z a / 44300) ] kg m ¡ (47)

Here w g and Z g are the nominal values (corresponding to M t =

where Z a is given in meters. 140 kg) of w and Z at equilibrium. The increments used in gridding

were 5 deg for w , u , and h , b / 6 for X, Y, Z , and 2 kg for l = Mt .

Evaluation of the Tensegrity Simulator The mass of the aircraft is m a = 1400 kg and the pitching moment

In the following we analyze the ability of the tensegrity simulator of inertia is Ja = 60,000 kg m2 . The lifting surface is S = 11.9 m2

to track longitudinal motions of an aircraft. First we de ne what we and the mean aerodynamic chord is c̃ = 1.22 m.

mean by tracking and desired motion in this context.

The main task of a ight simulator is to give the pilot the same Elevator Command

sensations one would have when ying the real aircraft. In the rst Here we evaluate the ability of the system to simulate the motion

approximation we neglect the in uence of the vestibular system of of the aircraft when subjected to an elevator step input command.

the pilot. For simplicity we also assume that the pilot’s head location Assume that the aircraft is initially in level ight characterized by

with respect to the mass center of the second stage of the simulator the following trim conditions:

is the same as its location would be with respect to the mass center

of the aircraft. Thus, in case the simulator tracks reasonably well Z a0 = 3000 m, h a0 = 0, a a0 = 0, XÇ a0 = 86.4 m s ¡ 1

the acceleration and angular velocity of the aircraft, the pilot will

have the same sensations when ying the simulator as when ying d f0 = 0, d e0 = ¡ 1.34 deg, Tr0 = 1479 N (53)

the real aircraft.

Mathematically, the tracking problem means that the simulator The corresponding simulator equilibrium is characterized by

and the aircraft should have the same accelerations and angular w = 302.2 deg, Z g = 3.46 m, X =Y =u =h =0

g

velocities. Usually, they start from different initial con gurations (54)

and velocities. The simulator is in equilibrium with zero velocity,

which is dynamically equivalent to a rectilinear uniform translation The elevator, which is approximated as a rst-order system with

of the aircraft at an arbitraryvelocity.It is suf cient for the simulator time constant s = 0.2 s, is given a step command at time t0 = 0.5 s.

to track the aircraft motion because of a certain command as seen This results in the elevator de ection,

from an inertial reference frame attached to the aircraft that is in

rectilinear uniform motion before the command is applied. Thus the d e =d e0 + d eA {1 ¡ exp[ ¡ (t ¡ t0 ) / s ]} (55)

desired motion is given by

We present next the time histories of the most signi cant ac-

qd (t ) = qa (t ) ¡ qÇ a0 t ¡ qa0 + q0 + qÇ 0 t (48) celerations (Fig. 4), the control inputs (Fig. 5), and the actuator

forces (Fig. 6) for d eA = 2 deg. The following notation has been intro-

where q0 , Çq0 , qa0 , Çqa0 are the initial conditions of the simulator and duced for the tendons: tendon 1 = A 12 B21 , 2 = A 12 B11 , 3 = A 22 B21 ,

aircraft (usually qÇ 0 = 0). In this paper we are mainly interestedin the 4 = A 22 B31 , 5 = A32 B11 , 6 = A 32 B31 .

SULTAN, CORLESS, AND SKELTON 1061

Flap Command

Here we evaluate the ability of the system to simulate the motion

of the aircraft because of a ap step input command. Assume that

the aircraft is initially in level ight characterized by

Z a0 = 100 m, h a0 = 0, a a0 = 0, XÇ a0 = 74.8 m s ¡ 1

and that approaching landing the aps are given a de ection,

d f =d f0 + d Af {1 ¡ exp[ ¡ (t ¡ t0 ) / s ]} (57)

ration of the simulator is the same as before.

Numerical simulations (Fig. 7) show that the simulator is very

effective in tracking the accelerations.As in the elevator step com-

mand case, numerical simulations indicate that even better tracking

is achieved for the generalized coordinates, generalized velocities,

and angular velocity of the aircraft, although none of the tendons

Fig. 4 Elevator command: desired (——) and simulator ( – – – ) accel-

becomes slack and suf cient clearance between bars is guaranteed.

erations.

The correspondingcontrol input time histories,given in Fig. 8, show

that their variations and ranges are acceptable (the same is true of

the control forces).

Throttle Command

Finally, we evaluate the ability of the system to simulate the mo-

tion of the aircraft when subjected to a throttle step input command.

We suppose that the aircraft is initially in level ight characterized

tions.

throughout the initial phase. Numerical simulations indicate that

even better tracking is achieved for the generalized coordinates and

velocities and for the angular velocity of the aircraft. The time his-

tories of the control inputs and actuator forces show that their varia-

tions and ranges are acceptable.The simulations show that through-

out the motion none of the tendons becomes slack, and there is

always suf cient clearance between bars. Fig. 8 Flap command: control time histories.

1062 SULTAN, CORLESS, AND SKELTON

Fig. 9 Throttle command: desired (——) and simulator ( – – –) accel- Fig. 11 Robustness evaluation: desired (——), nominal ( – – – ), and

erations. perturbed (+, £ ) simulators.

response of the one whose inertial properties are varied with ¡ 50%

is represented by £ . We ascertain that, even for these large per-

turbations in the inertial properties, the tracking is very good. The

perturbed simulators responses are very close to the response of the

nominal simulator and to the one of the aircraft. Our simulations

con rm that even better tracking is obtained for the generalized co-

ordinatesand velocitieswhile none of the tendons become slack and

none of the bars touch each other.

It is also important to mention that, even though for controller

design we assumed variations only in the mass of the cabin Mt , the

design is very robust with respect to variations in all inertial param-

eters of the simulator. We also remark that the perturbed simulators

masses considered in the preceding example are out of the range

used for controller design (D = [90, 190] kg). However the per-

turbed simulators equipped with the nominal controller track the

desired motion very well.

Conclusions

Fig. 10 Throttle command: control time histories. Motivated by the desire to eliminate complicatedstrut actuators,a

tensegrity motion simulator is proposed. The main advantage that a

by the parameters of the previous section and is given the throttle tensegrity motion simulator has over a Stewart platform based sim-

command, ulator is that it does not have telescopic struts. Tensegrity simulators

do not include rigid bodies sliding with respect to each other, nor

Tr = Tr0 + TrA {1 ¡ exp[ ¡ (t ¡ t0 ) / s ]} (58) do they have complicated bar to bar joints. The actuating and the

sensing functions can be carried by the tendons.

with TrA = 500 N, t0 = 0.5 s, and s = 0.5 s. The time histories of the For the proposed simulator, a nonlinear continuous robust track-

signi cant accelerationsand the controls are given in Figs. 9 and 10, ing controller is designed. The controller guarantees exponential

respectively. convergence of the tracking error—with a prespeci ed rate of

As in the case of the aerodynamic commands, tracking is very convergence—to a ball of a prescribed radius. The physical con-

good, and none of the tendons becomes slack and there is suf - trols are the rest-lengths of six of the 12 tendons of the tensegrity

cient clearance between bars. Here the control time histories exhibit structure.

smoother variations than in the case of the aerodynamic commands. The proposedtensegritysimulatorequippedwith the robusttrack-

ing controller is very effective in tracking the longitudinal symmet-

Robustness of the Design

ric motions of a certain aircraft. In general, the motions generated

In the following we evaluate the robustnessof our design.We con- by throttle commands are better tracked than those due to aerody-

sider that the controlleris designedfor the nominal simulator, whose namic control surfaces commands. Further numerical simulations

inertialpropertiesare M t = 140 kg, J1 = 300 kg m2 , J2 = 400 kg m2 , indicated that the design is very robust to variations in the inertial

J3 = 500 kg m2 , and that it is used to control the motion of the sim- properties of the cabin.

ulator when its inertial properties change.

For illustration, we consider an elevator step command with

Appendix A: Tendon Lengths

d eA = 5 deg, t0 = 0.5 s, s = 0.2 s applied to the aircraft, which is ini-

tially in level ight characterizedby the parametersin the subsection The lengths of the tendons l j ( j = 1, . . . , 12) are given by

Elevator Command. Figure 11 shows the vertical accelerationof the p p

aircraft and the corresponding vertical accelerations of three simu- l 1 = q5 ¡ A2 ¡ b 3 / 6 cos(q1 ) cos(q2 ) ¡ b 3 / 3

lators: the nominal one and two perturbed simulators,whose inertial 2 p

properties are varied between + 50% and ¡ 50%, respectively, from + l sin(d ) sin(a ) + q4 ¡ A 1 + b 3 / 6 sin(q1 ) cos(q2 )

the nominal ones (this means that the values of Mt , J1 , J2 , J3 are 2

varied between + 50% and ¡ 50%, respectively, from the nominal + l sin(d ) cos(a ) + q6 + (b / 2) cos(q2 ) sin(q3 )

ones). The response of the perturbed simulator whose inertial prop- p 2 1

erties are varied + 50% is represented in Fig. 11 by + , whereas the ¡ b 3 / 6 sin(q2 ) ¡ 2l cos(d ) 2

SULTAN, CORLESS, AND SKELTON 1063

p

l2 = q4 ¡ A1 + b 3 / 6 sin(q1 ) cos(q2 ) l 11 = l sin(d ) cos(a + 60) + q4

2 p 2

+ l sin(d ) sin(a ¡ 30) + b / 2 + [q5 ¡ A2 + A 3 ¡ b 3 / 3 sin(q1 ) cos(q2 ) + [ ¡ l sin(d ) sin(a + 60)

¡ q5 + 2 A3 ]2 + q6 + b 3 / 3 sin(q2 ) ¡ l cos(d ) 2

p 2 1

2

¡ b 3 / 6 sin(q2 ) ¡ 2l cos(d ) l 12 = b / 2 ¡ l sin(d ) sin(a + 30) ¡ q4 ¡ A1

p 2 p

l3 = q4 ¡ b 3 / 3 sin(q1 ) cos(q2 ) ¡ l sin(d ) cos(a ¡ 60) ¡ b 3 / 6 sin(q1 ) cos(q2 )

2

+ [ ¡ A3 + l sin(d ) cos(a + 30)

+ [q5 ¡ 2A 3 ¡ l sin(d ) sin(a ¡ 60) ] 2

¡ q5 ¡ A2 ]2 + ¡ q6 + (b / 2) cos(q2 ) sin(q3 )

p 2 1

+ q6 + b 3 / 3 sin(q2 ) ¡ 2l cos(d ) 2

p 2 1

p + b 3 / 6 sin(q2 ) + l cos(d ) 2

l4 = q4 ¡ b 3 / 3 sin(q1 ) cos(q2 ) ¡ b / 2

2 p where the tendons are labeled as follows: tendon 1 = A 12 B21 ,

+ l sin(d ) sin(a ¡ 30) + q6 + b 3 / 3 sin(q2 ) tendon 2 = A 12 B11 , tendon 3 = A 22 B21 , tendon 4 = A22 B31 , ten-

p don 5 = A32 B11 , tendon 6 = A 32 B31 , tendon 7 = A 11 A 32 , tendon

2

¡ 2l cos(d ) + q5 + b 3 / 6 cos(q1 ) cos(q2 ) 8 = A 21 A 12 , tendon 9 = A 31 A 22 , tendon 10 = B11 B12 , tendon 11 =

B21 B22 , tendon 12 = B31 B32 , and A 1 , A 2 , A3 are given by

p 2 1

+ b 3 / 6 ¡ l sin(d ) cos(a ¡ 30) 2

l5 = q4 + A1 + b 3 / 6 sin(q1 ) cos(q2 ) ¡ l sin(d ) cos(a ¡ 60)

A2 = (b / 2)[sin(q1 ) cos(q3 ) + cos(q1 ) sin(q2 ) sin(q3 ) ]

2 p

+ b/2 + [q5 + A2 + A 3 ¡ l sin(d ) sin(a ¡ 60) ] 2

A3 = b 3 / 6 [1 ¡ cos(q1 ) cos(q2 ) ]

+ q6 ¡ (b / 2) cos(q2 ) sin(q3 )

Appendix B: Matrix Ag

p 2 12

¡b 3 / 6 sin(q2 ) ¡ 2l cos(d ) The elements of matrix A g are given by

p p

l 6 = q5 + A2 ¡ b 3 / 6 cos(q1 ) cos(q2 ) + l sin(d ) sin(a ) A g11 = (b / D1 ) b cos(w g + 30) + l 3 sin(d ) cos(w g ¡ a )

p 2 p p

+ b 3 / 6 + q4 + A 1 + b 3 / 6 sin(q1 ) cos(q2 ) A g12 = (b / D2 ) b sin(w + l 3 sin(d ) sin(a ¡ w

g) g ¡ 30)

+ l sin(d ) cos(a ) ¡ b / 2

2

+ q6 ¡ b / 2 cos(q2 ) sin(q3 ) p

A g13 = (b / S1 ) b cos(w g + 30) + l 3 sin(d ) cos(w g ¡ a ¡ 60)

p 2 1

p

¡ b 3 / 6 sin(q2 ) ¡ 2l cos(d ) 2

A g14 = (b / S2 ) b sin(w + l 3 sin(d ) cos(w ¡ a + 60)

g) g

p

l7 = b / 2 + q4 + A 1 + b 3 / 6 sin(q1 ) cos(q2 ) + l sin(d ) A g21 = (3 / D1 )[l cos(d ) ¡ h ], A g22 = (3 / D2 )[l cos(d ) ¡ h ]

2

£ cos(a + 60) + [ A 3 + q5 + A2 + l sin(d ) sin(a + 60) ] 2

A g23 = ¡ (3h / S1 ), A g24 = ¡ (3h / S2 )

+ q6 ¡ (b / 2) cos(q2 ) sin(q3 )

Appendix C: Aerodynamic Coef cients

p 2 1

The aerodynamic coef cients of the aircraft are given as follows

¡b 3 / 6 sin(q2 ) ¡ l cos(d ) 2

(all angles in radians):

p p

l 8 = b 3 / 3 ¡ q5 + A 2 + b 3 / 6 cos(q1 ) cos(q2 ) + l sin(d ) d d f

C d = C dl + C dd e + C d f , Cl = Cla a + C ld e + C l

2 p

£ cos(a + 30) + A 1 ¡ q4 ¡ b 3 / 6 sin(q1 ) cos(q2 ) d

a a

C M = CM + C Mf + C Md e + C M0

2

¡ l sin(d ) sin(a + 30) + q6 + (b / 2) cos(q2 ) sin(q3 ) Cla a = 0.3492 + 6.2083a ¡ 4.0012a 2

¡ 5.727a 3

a a a

p 2 1

b 3 / 6 sin(q2 ) ¡ l cos(d ) Cld e = d 0.40165 + 0.9437a 2

2

¡ e a ¡ 4.756a a

p 2 d f

l9 = b / 2 ¡ q4 + b 3 / 3 sin(q1 ) cos(q2 ) + l sin(d ) cos(a ) Cl =d f 1.153 ¡ 0.2016a a ¡ 3.993a 2

a

p p

+ b 3 / 6 + q5 + b 3 / 3 cos(q1 ) cos(q2 ) C dl = 0.01 4.2084 + Cla a ¡ 5.049 + 8.8544Cla a

2 p 2 1

¡ l sin(d ) sin(a ) + q6 + b 3 / 3 sin(q2 ) ¡ l cos(d ) 2 C dd e = d e ¡ 0.0573 + 0.4815a a + 0.627a 2

a

d

l 10 = b / 2 ¡ l sin(d ) cos(a ) + q4 ¡ A1 Cd f = d f 0.1514 + 0.3226a a + 0.6544a 2

a

p 2

+ b 3 / 6 sin(q1 ) cos(q2 ) + [ A3 ¡ l sin(d ) sin(a ) 0

CM = ¡ 0.07, a a

CM = ¡ 2.13a a + 0.46a 2

a + 1.73a 3

a

+ q5 ¡ A 2 ]2 + q6 + (b / 2) cos(q2 ) sin(q3 ) d e

CM =d e ¡ 3 + 0.71a a + 4.1a 2

a

p 2 1

d

¡ b 3 / 6 sin(q2 ) ¡ l cos(d ) 2

C Mf = d f ¡ 0.92a a + 6.74a 2

a

1064 SULTAN, CORLESS, AND SKELTON

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