In this paper the application of distributed vibration control for a flexible structure is studied both analytically and experimentally. The purpose is to investigate the effectiveness of distributed vibration control strategies and compare them with centralized and decentralized methods. A simply supported beam is chosen as the illustrative flexible structure. A distributed control architecture is designed based on a system identification model and is used to minimize broadband vibration disturbances. The experiment results are presented for the control of the beam's vibration modes under 600 Hz. It is shown that distributed control approaches the performance of centralized control if the same control effort is applied. In addition, in comparison to centralized control, the distributed controller has the advantage that it will continue to work even when some processors fail, although probably with diminished capability.
The results of simulations to demonstrate decentralized vibration control with a netowkred embedded system are presented in this work. Conventional vibration control designs rest on centrality, and the central processor deals with information of the entire system. When large-scale systems are considered, decentralized vibration control system provides an alternative design. The simulated system in this work is a simply supported beam that is collocated with 50 localized processor nodes which can communicate with each other. Each node will calculate and supply the control force to control the beam vibration according to the shared sensor information among the nodes and an optimal direct velocity feedback algorithm. The simulation results demonstrate that decentralized vibration control can achieve a global control objective, making it suitable for large-scale systems. The effects of network communication delay and feedback architecture on control performance are demonstrated.