In this paper, Linear Quadratic (LQ) optimal control concepts are applied for the active control of vibrations in helicopters. The study is based on an identified dynamic model of the rotor. The vibration effect is captured by suitably augmenting the state vector of the rotor model. Then, Kalman filtering concepts can be used to obtain a real-time estimate of the vibration, which is then fed back to form a suitable compensation signal. This design rationale is derived here starting from a rigorous problem position in an optimal control context. Among other things, this calls for a suitable definition of the performance index, of nonstandard type. The application of these ideas to a test helicopter, by means of computer simulations, shows good performances both in terms of disturbance rejection effectiveness and control effort limitation. The performance of the obtained controller is compared with the one achievable by the so called Higher Harmonic Control (HHC) approach, well known within the helicopter community.

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