Novel Fractional Order Control Strategies for Vibration Suppression in Aeroplane Wings

Research grant awarded by UEFISCDI Romania, project code: PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-0598, TE 86/2015


The overall performance of large aerospace vehicles is determined to a great extent by the wings’ structure of aircrafts. Vibrations that might occur in these structures may limit their life span and even lead to malfunctioning or system instability.

The necessity of research on vibration suppression in airplane wings is important from a scientific and technologic point of view:


The main overall objective: to develop novel, robust fractional order control strategies, to offer new solutions for vibration suppression in airplane wings. The project aims at experimenting, testing and the validation of original methods to be applied in one of the most thriving aspects of everyday life: flight safety and comfort.

The specific objectives of the project are as follows:

Objective 1: Development of a complete and up-to-date study of the state of the art regarding vibration suppression in airplane wings (construction, modeling, control);

Objective 2: Design and construction of an experimental unit for the study of vibration suppression;

Objective 3: Development of a dynamic model for airplane wings (using fractional calculus and experimental identification); – original element

Objective 4: Development of novel robust fractional order control strategies for vibration suppression. – original element


Stage 1 of the project deals with the “Complete and updated study with respect to the state of the art in vibration suppression in airplane wings (construction, modelling, control)”. In the first part of this report, the airplane wings are studied based on smart structures (smart beams). Control strategies suitable for smart beams are also reviewed. Practical methods for implementing different vibration control strategies are also considered, with a focus on piezoelectric technologies. The advantages of using piezoelectric based methods are highlighted. In the second activity of this first stage, the existing modelling techniques, as well as the different models developed for smart beams are reviewed. These studies are directed towards ensuring the basis of the research to be completed within Stage 2.

Stage 2 of the project has dealt with ”The design and construction of an experimental unit for the study of active vibration attenuation”, „Development of a mathematical model for the airplane wings (based on experimental tests and fractional calculus) „Design of novel robust fractional order controllers for vibration suppression”. Once the experimental unit has been built, in the first part of this stage, the fractional order model of the smart beam system has been developed using experimental tests on the actual plant and optimization routines for parameter fitting. Next, some classical control strategies were studied and tested; the most efficient one has also been implemented on the exprimental unit. The last part of this stage consists in the design of fractional order PID controllers (based on two different tuning techniques). The designed controllers were tested using Matlab simulations and compared to classical controllers.

In Stage 3 of the project the focus has been on the “Development of novel, robust fractional order control strategies for vibration suppression”. The first part of this stage has dealt with the implementation and validation of the fractional order control strategies developed during Stage 2. The implementation was performed on the experimental unit, which has been built also during Stage 2. Next, the three novel ideas for vibration suppression using fractional order controllers were developed. This included an autotuning technique for designing fractional order PD controllers, a fractional order PD controller designed according to the previously determined fractional order model and a fractional order PD and PID controllers designed based on some experimental data (in the absence of a smart beam model). These algorithms have been tested in simulations and then implemented on the experimental unit. It is important to note that all control strategies have been optimized, adjusted and corrected, where needed. These control strategies are based on a tuning technique that searches for the optimal controller parameters. In the last part of this stage, existing control strategies, as well as the fractional order ones developed within the project have been compared in terms of vibration suppression. As expected, the proposed fractional order controllers provide better results.



  1. De Keyser, R., Muresan, C.I., Ionescu, C. (2016), A Novel Auto-tuning Method for Fractional Order PI/PD Controllers, ISA Transactions, Vol. 62, pp. 268-275, DOI: 10.1016/j.isatra.2016.01.021 (impact factor 3.394)
  2. Folea, S., De Keyser, R., Birs, I.R., Muresan, C.I., Ionescu, C.I. (2017), Discrete-Time Implementation and Experimental Validation of a Fractional Order PD Controller for Vibration Suppression in Airplane Wings, Acta Polytechnica Hungarica, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 191-206 (impact factor 0.745)
  3. Dulf, E.H., Timis, D., Muresan, C.I. (2017), Robust Fractional Order Controllers for Distributed Systems, Acta Polytechnica Hungarica, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 163-176 (impact factor 0.745)
  1. Muresan, C.I.,Folea, S.C., Birs, I.R., Ionescu, C.M. (2018), A Novel Fractional Order Model and Controller for Vibration Suppression in Flexible Smart Beam, Nonlinear Dynamics, vol. 93, no. 2, pp. 525-541, DOI:10.1007/s11071-018-4207-0 (impact factor 3.464)
  2. Markowski, K., Birs, I.R., Muresan, C.I., Prodan, O. (2018), Different fractional order models for an experimental smart beam system, Bulletin Of The Polish Academy Of Sciences-Technical Sciences, Vol. 66, no. 4, pp. 485-493, DOI: 10.24425/124265 (impact factor 1.361)
  3. Birs, I.R., Folea, S., Copot, D., Prodan, O., Muresan, C.I. (2017), Comparative analysis and exprimental results of advanced control strategies for vibration suppression in aircraft wings, 13th European Workshop on Advanced Control and Diagnosis, IOP Conf. Series: Journal of Physics: Conf. Series 783 (2017) 012054, DOI: 10.1088/1742- 6596/783/1/012054, 17-18 November 2016, Lille France (ISI Proceedings)
  4. Muresan, C.I., Folea, S., Prodan, O., Eva H. Dulf, (2016) Design and Experimental Validation of an Optimal Fractional Order Controller for Vibration Suppression, The International Conference on Control, Decision and Information Technologies, pp. 129- 133, DOI: 10.1109/CoDIT.2016.7593548, Malta, April 6-8, 2016 (ISI Proceedings)
  5. Birs, I.R., Muresan, C.I., Folea, S., Prodan, O., Kovacs, L., Vibration suppression with fractional-order PIλDμcontroller, IEEE International Conference on Automation, Quality and Testing, Robotics AQTR, pp. 413-418, DOI: 10.1109/AQTR.2016.7501365, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 19-21 May 2016 (ISI Proceedings)
  6. Muresan, C.I., De Keyser, R., Ionescu, C., An indirect discretization method for fractional order PID controllers, International Conference on Fractional Differentiation and its Applications, vol. 1, pp. 221-230, ISBN: 978-86-7892-830-7, Novi Sad, Serbia, July 18 – 20, 2016 (international conference)
  1. Muresan, C.I., Birs, I.R., Folea, S., Dulf, E.H., Prodan, O., Experimental Results of a Fractional Order PDλController for Vibration Suppresion, The 14th International Conference on Control, Automation, Robotics and Vision, ICARCV 2016, DOI: 10.1109/ICARCV.2016.7838715, Phuket, Thailand, 13 – 15 November 2016 (ISI Proceedings)
  2. Birs, I., Muresan, C.I., Folea, S., Prodan, O., Fractional Order Controller Design for Vibration Attenuation in an Airplane Wing, The 18th International Conference on Control, Automation, Robotics and Systems, pp. 1063-1067, 10-11 October 2016, New York, USA (international conference)
  3. De Keyser, R., Muresan, C.I., An Analysis of a New Continuous-to-Discrete Time Operator for the Approximation of Fractional Order Systems, Workshop on Women in Engineering, 2016 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (SMC 2016), DOI:10.1109/SMC.2016.7844728, Budapest, Hungary, 9-12 October 2016 (ISI Proceedings)
  4. C.I. Muresan, R. De Keyser, I. R. Birs, S. Folea, O. Prodan (2017) An Autotuning Method for a Fractional Order PD Controller for Vibration Suppression, Proceedings of the International Workshop Mathematical Methods in Engineering (MME 2017), ISBN 978-975-6734-19-3, pp. 52, 27 – 29 April 2017, Ankara, Turkey (international conference)
  5. I. Birs, S. Folea, F. Ionescu, O. Prodan, C.I. Muresan (2017), Preliminary results and simulation of an active pendulum system for a three floor building, X International Conference on Structural Dynamics, EURODYN 2017, 10-13 September 2017, Rome, Italy, Procedia Engineering, Vol.199, pp. 1647–1652, DOI: 10.1016/j.proeng.2017.09.088 (ISI Proceedings)
  1. I.R. Birs, S. Folea, C. I. Muresan (2017), Design and Experimental Validation of An Optimal Fractional Order Controller for Vibration Attenuation, 25th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, pp. 828-832, DOI: 10.1109/MED.2017.7984221, 3-6 July 2017, Valletta, Malta (ISI Proceedings)
  2. Markowski, K., Muresan, C.I. (2017), Smart Beam System: Identification and Minimal Realisation Using Digraphs Theory, Proceedings of The 22nd International Conference on Methods and Models in Automation and Robotics, pp.351-355, 28-31 August 2017, Międzyzdroje, Poland (ISI Proceedings)
  3. Muresan, C.I.,Folea, S., Birs, I.R., Ionescu, C.M. (2017), Fractional Order Modeling and Control of a Smart Beam, Proceedings of the 2017 IEEE Conference on Control Technology and Applications, DOI:10.1109/CCTA.2017.8062672, 27-30 August 2017, Hawaii, USA  (ISI Proceedings)
  4. Markowski, K., Birs, I.R., Muresan, C.I., Prodan, O. (2017), Comparative experimental results of vibration suppression with switching model of the aircraft wings, Proceedings of the 14th International Conference Dynamical Systems Theory and Applications, 11-14 Decembrie 2017, Lodz, Poland (international conference)


Dr. Eng. Cristina I. Muresan – principal investigator

Dr. Eng. Eva H. Dulf

Dr. Eng. Silviu Folea

Dr. Eng. Clara Ionescu

Dr. Eng. Ovidiu Prodan

Drd. Eng. Cristian Miculas

Drd, Eng. Gabriel Harja

Eng. Isabela Birs