Communication patterning for multi-step TDMA bandwidth allocation using wireless structural control

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



© 2016 American Automatic Control Council (AACC). Structural control can enhance occupant comfort within structures during earthquakes and high-wind events. In traditional structural control systems, a central processor acquires data through extensive wiring from an array of sensors, calculates control forces, and commands a network of actuators to reduce undesired vibrations in the structure. To reduce costs associated with cable installation, multiple wireless units can perform the same calculations emulating a central computing station by communicating data throughout a large wireless sensor network. In such a system, it is common that a single sensor may be the only measurement source for an important section of a structure. As the number of sensors in a control network grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to transmit all sensor data during a single control step over the fixed wireless bandwidth, necessitating the use of staggered data communication. Control force calculations rely on accurate state measurements or estimates. In this paper, an approach to select and evaluate different communication group sizes and wireless unit combinations that still provide accurate state estimates is presented. With respect to a single wireless unit, multiple estimator gains are derived and stored on-board to perform state-estimation calculations using staggered data received from different combinations of units. It is found that state estimation and control performance are affected by the network topology used at each timestep with different sensors and sensor combinations providing more useful information than others. Sensor placement theory is used to form sensor groups that provide consistently high-quality output information to the network but still utilize all sensors.

Publication Title

Proceedings of the American Control Conference