Date of Award

Spring 5-23-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Applied Physics



Major Professor

Dr. Juliette Ioup

Second Advisor

Dr L. Malkinski

Third Advisor

Dr A. Puri

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Ralph Saxton


The control theory of nonlinear systems has been receiving increasing attention in recent years, both for its technical importance as well as for its impact in various fields of application. In several key areas, such as aerospace, chemical and petrochemical industries, bioengineering, and robotics, a new practical application for this tool appears every day. System nonlinearity is characterized when at least one component or subsystem is nonlinear. Classical methods used in the study of linear systems, particularly superposition, are not usually applied to the nonlinear systems. It is necessary to use other methods to study the control of these systems. For a wide class of nonlinear systems, a rather important structural feature comes from the strong nonlinearity appearing as coupling between spectrally decoupled parts of the system. Even in the case of low frequencies, where lumped models can still be employed the nonlinear coupling between parts of the system requires specific treatment, using advanced mathematical tools. In this context, an alternative, frequency domain approach is pursued here. In the rest of this work, a specific system form of linearly decoupled but nonlinearly coupled subsystems is examined. The mathematical toolbox of the Hilbert transform is appropriately introduced for obtaining two low-pass subsystems that form an equivalent description of the essential overall system dynamics. The nonlinear coupled dynamics is investigated systematically by partitioning the coupled system state vector in such a way as to fully exploit the low-pass and the band-pass intrinsic features of free dynamics. In particular, by employing the Hilbert Transform, a low-pass equivalent system is derived. Then, a typical case is investigated thoroughly by means of numerical simulation of the original coupled low and band-pass, real-state-variable system and the low-pass-equivalent, complex-state-variable derived one. The nonlinear model equations considered here pave the way for a systematic investigation of nonlinear feedback control options designed to operate mechatronic transducers in energy harvesting, sensing or actuation modes.


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