Open parabolic cylindrical panel plays a key role in radial collection and transmission applied to radar antennas, space reflectors, solar collectors, etc. Piezoelectric active vibration control can suppress unexpected fluctuation and maintain precision surface and operations. This study aims to investigate the distributed actuation behavior of adaptive open parabolic cylindrical panels using piezoelectric actuator patches. Motion equations of parabolic cylindrical panels laminated with a piezoelectric patch is presented first. Then, the actuator induced modal control force is derived with an assumed mode shape function. As the area of actuator patch varies due to the curvature change, the normalized actuation effectiveness (i.e., modal control force divided by actuator area) is further evaluated. When the actuator area shrinks to infinitesimal, the expression of microscopic point modal control force is obtained to theoretically predict the actuation distribution behavior. The actuation behaviors of the total control force and its components exhibit distinct characteristics with respect to shell geometries, modes and actuator properties. Analyses show that the control force component contributed by the membrane force dominates the total control effect. The bending-contributed component increases with corresponding vibration mode number, while the membrane-contributed component decreases. Three shell geometries from shallow to deep are evaluated in case studies. Analysis of optimal actuator location shows that actuators are preferred to locate where the curvature of shell panel is larger in order to maximize the control effectiveness.

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