Optimal control of a gun recoil absorber is investigated for minimizing recoil loads and maximizing rate of fire. A multi-objective optimization problem was formulated by considering the mechanical model of the recoil absorber employing a spring and a magnetorheological (MR) damper. The damper forces are predicted by evaluating pressure drops using Bingham-plastic model. The optimization methodology provides multiple optimal design configurations with a trade-off between recoil load minimization and increased rate of fire. The configurations with minimum recoil load transmissions have lower rate of fire and vice versa. The gun recoil absorber performance is also analyzed for fluctuations in the firing forces. The adaptive control of the MR damper for varying gun firing forces provides a smooth operation by returning the recoil mass to its battery (ready to reload and fire) position without incurring an end-stop impact. Furthermore, constant load transmissions are observed with respect to the recoil stroke by implementing optimal control during the simulated firing events.

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