Light-driven photostrictive actuators can induce control actions for wireless non-contact actuation and control of precision structures and systems. Conventional distributed actuators laminated on shells and plates usually only introduce uniform control forces and moments. Structural actuation and control based on uniform control forces and moments have been investigated for over two decades. This paper is to exploit a new photostrictive actuator design, i.e., a skew-quad (SQ) actuator system. This new distributed SQ actuator system laminated on shells and plates can introduce non-uniform control forces and moments. The new SQ actuator system is composed of four pieces of photostrictive materials and the inner two edges of each piece are bonded to a cross fixture. Under the irradiation of high-energy lights, each piece generates non-uniform control forces and moments, due to its uneven non-symmetrical boundary conditions. Modal actuation characteristics of a cylindrical shell coupled with the center-placed and corner-placed SQ actuator systems are evaluated respectively. A paired-design regulating positive/negative control forces of each actuator region is also proposed and evaluated to improve the control effectiveness of the center-located SQ actuator system. Parametric analysis proves improved control effectiveness of unsymmetrical shell modes.

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