Numerical and Experimental Investigation of Multistable Systems

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Tweten, Dennis Jeremy


Mann, Brian P

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The focus of this dissertation is on phenomena exhibited by multistable systems. Two phenomena of particular importance are chaos control and stochastic resonance. In this work, both models that can predict ordered responses and experiments in which ordered responses occur are explored. In addition, parameter identification methods are presented and improved.

Chaos control, when implemented with delays, can be an effective way to stabilize unstable periodic orbits within a multistable system experiencing a chaotic response. Delayed control is easy to implement physically but greatly increases the complexity of analyzing such systems. In this work, the spectral element method was adapted to evaluate unstable periodic orbits stabilized by feedback control implemented with delays. Examples are presented for Duffing systems in which the delay is equal to the forcing period. The spectral approach is also extended to analyze the control of chaos with arbitrary delays. Control with arbitrary delays can also be used to stabilize equilibria within the chaotic response. These methods for arbitrary delays are explored in self-excited, chaotic systems.

Stochastic resonance occurs in multistable systems when an increase in noise results in an ordered response. It is well known that noise excitation of multistable systems results in the system escaping from potential wells or switching between wells. In stochastic resonance, a small external signal is amplified due to these switching events. Methods for modeling stochastic resonance in both underdamped and overdamped systems are presented. In addition, stochastic resonance in a bistable, composite beam excited by colored noise is investigated experimentally. The experimental results are compared with analytical models, and the effect of modal masses on the analytical expressions is explored. Finally, an alternative approach for calculating the effect of colored noise excitation is proposed.

In order to implement analysis methods related to delay differential equations or stochastic resonance, the parameters of the system must be known in advance or determined experimentally. Parameter identification methods provide a natural connection between experiment and theory. In this work, the harmonic balance parameter identification method was applied to beam energy harvesters and is improved using weighting matrices. The method has been applied to a nonlinear, bistable, piezoelectric beam with a tip mass. Then, an experimental method of determining the number of restoring force coefficients necessary to accurately model the systems was demonstrated. The harmonic balance method was also applied to a bistable, beam system undergoing stochastic resonance. Finally, a new weighting strategy is presented based on the signal to noise ratio of each harmonic.





Tweten, Dennis Jeremy (2013). Numerical and Experimental Investigation of Multistable Systems. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from


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