The direct conversion of photonic energy to mechanical motion by photostrictive effect can lead to a new photoactuation technique for active control of flexible structures. It offers the advantage of generating distributed actuation strain without connecting any electric lead wires. In this paper, photonic control of flexible spherical shells using discrete photostrictive actuators are investigated. This paper presents a coupled opto-piezothermoelastic shell theory that incorporates photovoltaic, pyroelectric, and piezoelectric effects, and has the capability to predict the response of a spherical shell driven by the photostrictive actuators. In this study, the effects of actuator locations as well as membrane and bending components on the control action are analyzed. Analytical results indicate that the control forces are mode and location dependent. Analysis also shows that the membrane control action is much more significant than the bending control action.

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