A hybrid nonlinear optimal control design is experimentally implemented on a magnetostrictive Terfenol-D actuator to illustrate enhanced tracking control at relatively high speed. The control design employs a homogenized energy model to quantify rate-dependent nonlinear and hysteretic ferromagnetic switching behavior. The homogenized energy model is incorporated into a finite-dimensional nonlinear optimal control design to directly compensate for the nonlinear and hysteretic magnetostrictive constitutive behavior of the Terfenol-D actuator. Additionally, robustness to operating uncertainties is addressed by incorporating proportional-integral (PI) perturbation feedback around the optimal open loop response. Experimental results illustrate significant improvements in tracking control in comparison to PI control. Accurate displacement tracking is achieved for sinusoidal reference displacements at frequencies up to 1 kHz using the hybrid nonlinear control design, whereas tracking errors become significant for the PI controller for frequencies equal to or greater than 500 Hz.

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