This paper presents a new control design method for the control of flexible systems that not only guarantees closed-loop asymptotic stability but also effectively suppresses vibration. This method allows integrated determination of actuator/sensor locations and feedback gain via minimization of an energy criterion, which is chosen as the integrated total energy stored in the system. The energy criterion is determined via an efficient solution of the Lyapunov equation and minimized with a quasi-Newton or recursive quadratic programming algorithm. The prerequisite for this optimal design method is that the controlled system be asymptotically stable. This study shows that when the controller structure is a collocated direct velocity feedback design with positive definite feedback gain, the number and placement of actuators/sensors are the only factors needed to determine necessary and sufficient conditions for ensuring closed-loop asymptotic stability. The application of this method to a simple flexible structure confirms the direct relationship between our optimization criterion and effectiveness in vibration suppression.

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