Passivity Control for Nonlinear Real-time Hybrid Tests

Lokukankanamge Peiris, Andrew Plummer, Jonathan Du Bois

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)
45 Downloads (Pure)


In real-time hybrid testing, systems are separated into a numerically simulated substructure and a physically tested substructure, coupled in real time using actuators and force sensors. Actuators tend to introduce spurious dynamics to the system which can result in inaccuracy or even instability. Conventional means of mitigating these dynamics can be ineffective in the presence of nonlinearity in the physical substructure or transfer system. This article presents the first experimental tests of a novel passivity-based controller for hybrid testing. Passivity control was found to stabilize a real-time hybrid test which would otherwise exhibit instability due to the combination of actuator lag and a stiff physical substructure. Limit cycle behaviour caused by nonlinear friction in the actuator was also reduced by 95% with passivity control, compared to only 64% for contemporary methods. The combination of passivity control with conventional methods is shown to reduce actuator lag from 35.3° to 13.7°. A big advantage of passivity control is its simplicity compared with model-based compensators, making it an attractive choice in a wide range of contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)914-928
Number of pages15
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part I: Journal of Systems and Control Engineering
Issue number6
Early online date28 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021


  • Real-time hybrid test
  • passivity control
  • substructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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