Normalized passivity control for robust tuning in real-time hybrid tests

Lokukankanamge Dushyantha Hashan Peiris, Andrew R. Plummer, Jonathan L. du Bois

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)


Real-time hybrid testing involves the separation of a system into an experimental component and a numerically simulated substructure which are coupled and run together. The coupling between substructures is achieved using actuators and force sensors which comprise the transfer system. Close synchronization is required between substructures for reliable hybrid testing. However, actuator lag may cause tracking errors and instability in hybrid tests. Existing lag compensation schemes require identification of the coupled dynamics of the transfer system and experimental component and can be sensitive to changes in these components. Passivity control is a technique intended to maintain stability without the need for system identification or assumptions about the actuators or test specimens. Yet, the tuning of existing passivity controllers is sensitive to both the system being tested and the amplitude and frequency range excited. This paper presents a new, normalized passivity controller which behaves well across a much broader range of operating conditions once tuned for a single-test scenario. The proposed approach uses a virtual damping element on the numerical substructure to dissipate spurious power injected by the actuator into the system, based on the ratio of net power output to mean power throughput. The scheme has been shown to result in identical performance for a linear hybrid test with a range of step excitations from 0.5 mm up to 500 mm. The proposed method can be used to improve test stability and fidelity in isolation or alongside other compensation schemes to further improve performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4355-4375
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control
Issue number7
Early online date27 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has been supported through funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, grant reference EP/N032829/1.


  • mechanical systems
  • model-in-the-loop-testing
  • passivity
  • real-time hybrid test
  • vibration and dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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