Reconfiguring smart structures using approximate heteroclinic connections

Jiaying Zhang, Colin R McInnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


A new method is investigated to reconfigure smart structures using the technique of polynomial series to approximate a true heteroclinic connection between unstable equilibria in a smart structure model. We explore the use of polynomials of varying order to first approximate the heteroclinic connection between two equal-energy, unstable equilibrium points, and then develop an inverse method to control the dynamics of the system to track the reference polynomial trajectory. It is found that high-order polynomials can provide a good approximation to heteroclinic connections and provide an efficient means of generating such trajectories. The method is used first in a simple smart structure model to illustrate the method and is then extended to a more complex model where the numerical generation of true heteroclinic connections is difficult. It is envisaged that being computationally efficient, the method could form the basis for real-time reconfiguration of smart structures using heteroclinic connections between equal-energy, unstable configurations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105034
Number of pages16
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sep 2015


  • feedback linearization
  • heteroclinic connection
  • inverse method
  • polynomial series
  • reconfiguring smart structures


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