Controller design for a thermoelastic structural experiment


As part of the ambitious DTEC - SeRANIS research project, a satellite for in-orbit verification experiments is being developed at UniBw, which will be launched into space in 2025. One experiment will be on high-precision structures (e.g. optical benches for holding spectrometer mirrors), which is being developed at the Institute of Lightweight Structures. One of the main task is to design and optimize a control algorithm for the thermoelastic structure. A spacecraft is typically subjected to environmental irradiations (Sun, deep space, Albedo...). This brings the structure to have huge difference of temperature while orbiting, that brings to structural failure and/or undesired structural behaviour. The purpose of the controller is to control the displacements of critical points, keeping them under specific limits.



During previous work, the structure architecture has been designed. Starting from this, the design and the optimization of the control algorithm will begin:

  • Starting from the Full Order nonlinear Model, the fist task is to linearize and find a suitable way to reduce the order (with FEM and Matlab/Python).
  • Test the reduced order model, to check if the results are comparable with the full order model ones.
  • Set up the Open Loop model and analyse the dynamics.
  • Design different type of controllers, such as PID, LQR and also by using the Kalman filter (Matlab/Python).
  • Optimize the process, considering design variables like control parameters and boundary conditions of the overall problem (Matlab/Python).

For any king of further information or questions, please contact us personally.


Andrea Di Natale M.Sc.

Andrea Di Natale M.Sc.

Research associate
Gebäude 37, Zimmer 1107
+49 (0)89 6004-5607