This paper presents a comprehensive optimal design procedure for constrained dynamic systems. The constraint violation stabilization method for dynamic analysis of mechanical systems is briefly reviewed. A direct differentiation method is used to form the equations of design sensitivity analysis based on a constraint violation stabilization method. The sensitivity equations and the equations of motion are integrated simultaneously to obtain the system response, as well as the state sensitivity matrices. All integrations are performed using a multistep predictor-corrector method. The first order design sensitivity matrix is used to calculate the gradient of cost function and the performance constraint during the optimization procedure. An optimization routine is linked to the analysis/sensitivity algorithm. Two examples are given which illustrate the effectiveness of this method for determining the optimal design of a system.

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