High-energy light regulated photostrictive actuators provide a new wireless and non-contact precision actuation mechanism. For PLZT actuators with 0–3 polarization, the electrode shape can be designed to achieve desired modal control effects. In this paper, the photonic control of flexible shells using shaped photostrictive actuators is investigated. Spatially distributed and shaped 0–3 polarized PLZT actuators are selected to achieve independent control of various natural modes of a simply supported beam. Constitutive equations which define the time history response of photo-induced strain for 0–3 polarized PLZT actuator are presented. Based on experimental observation and theoretical analysis, the relationships of saturated photovoltage and time constant with actuator thickness and light intensity are formulated. Based on the orthogonality of the mode shape function, distributed orthogonal modal actuators designed for a simply supported beam are proposed. In order to realize the actuator shape design, paired spatially shaped photostrictive actuators are segmented and respectively placed on the top and bottom surfaces of the beam and the light direction of each segment actuator is regulated. Their control effectiveness with constant light intensity control is evaluated and the time history analysis is presented.

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