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Shock and Vibration
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 106531, 16 pages
Research Article

Feedback Linearisation for Nonlinear Vibration Problems

1Centre for Engineering Dynamics, School of Engineering, The University of Liverpool, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool L69 3GH, UK
2Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Bristol, Queens Building, University Walk, Bristol BS8 1TR, UK

Received 4 July 2013; Accepted 7 January 2014; Published 5 June 2014

Academic Editor: Nuno Maia

Copyright © 2014 S. Jiffri et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Feedback linearisation is a well-known technique in the controls community but has not been widely taken up in the vibrations community. It has the advantage of linearising nonlinear system models, thereby enabling the avoidance of the complicated mathematics associated with nonlinear problems. A particular and common class of problems is considered, where the nonlinearity is present in a system parameter and a formulation in terms of the usual second-order matrix differential equation is presented. The classical texts all cast the feedback linearisation problem in first-order form, requiring repeated differentiation of the output, usually presented in the Lie algebra notation. This becomes unnecessary when using second-order matrix equations of the problem class considered herein. Analysis is presented for the general multidegree of freedom system for those cases when a full set of sensors and actuators is available at every degree of freedom and when the number of sensors and actuators is fewer than the number of degrees of freedom. Adaptive feedback linearisation is used to address the problem of nonlinearity that is not known precisely. The theory is illustrated by means of a three-degree-of-freedom nonlinear aeroelastic model, with results demonstrating the effectiveness of the method in suppressing flutter.