Life-extending control of a reusable rocket engine

Michael Holmes, Sekhar Tangirala, Asok Ray

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    4 Scopus citations


    The goal of life-extending control is to achieve a trade-off between structural durability and dynamic performance of complex mechanical systems such as aircraft, spacecraft, and energy conversion systems. This paper presents a procedure for synthesis of output feedback life-extending controllers and explores the feasibility of its application to a reusable rocket engine such as the Space Shuttle Main Engine. The reported work focuses on: (i) reduction of fatigue damage in the blades of the oxidizer (O2) and fuel (H2) turbines and (ii) enhancement of engine performance, by simultaneously minimizing the turbine torques and the output tracking errors of the thrust chamber pressure and the O2/H2 mixture ratio. To realize different levels of performance/damage tradeoff, one performance (i.e., without any consideration to damage) controller and three damage-mitigating controllers have been synthesized by using an induced L2-norm method applicable to sampled data systems. Simulation results are presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of the life-extending control concept.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)2328-2332
    Number of pages5
    JournalProceedings of the American Control Conference
    Publication statusPublished - 1997


    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Control and Systems Engineering

    Cite this