Control system design for flexible rotors supported by actively lubricated bearings

Rodrigo Nicoletti, Ilmar Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This article presents a methodology for calculating the gains of an output feedback controller for active vibration control of flexible rotors. The methodology is based on modal reduction. The proportional and derivative gains are obtained by adjusting the first two damping factors of the system and keeping the lengths of the two eigenvalues constant in the real-imaginary plane. The methodology is applied to an industrial gas compressor supported by active tilting-pad journal bearings. The unbalance response functions and mode shapes of the flexible rotor with and without active control are presented, showing significative improvement in damping reserve with the control. The importance of sensor location is emphasized, on the basis of the energy necessary to operate the active system over the entire frequency range studied. The best results are obtained by a decentralized controller, observing displacement and velocity of the shaft at the bearing positions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Vibration and Control
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)347-374
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • active lubrication
  • control design
  • tilting-pad bearings
  • rotor dynamics
  • flexible shaft

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