Date of Award

Summer 1998

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering

Committee Director

Brett A. Newman

Committee Member

Colin P. Britcher

Committee Member

Thomas E. Alberts

Committee Member

Jen K. Huang


This dissertation introduces new methods to uncover functional relationships between design parameters of a contemporary control design technique and the resulting closed-loop properties. Three new methods are developed for generating such relationships through analytical expressions: the Direct Eigen-Based Technique, the Order of Magnitude Technique, and the Cost Function Imbedding Technique. Efforts concentrated on the linear-quadratic state-feedback control-design technique applied to an aeroelastic flight control task. For this specific application, simple and accurate analytical expressions for the closed-loop eigenvalues and zeros in terms of basic parameters such as stability and control derivatives, structural vibration damping and natural frequency, and cost function weights are generated. These expressions explicitly indicate how the weights augment the short period and aeroelastic modes, as well as the closed-loop zeros, and by what physical mechanism. The analytical expressions are used to address topics such as damping, nonminimum phase behavior, stability, and performance with robustness considerations, and design modifications. This type of knowledge is invaluable to the flight control designer and would be more difficult to formulate when obtained from numerical-based sensitivity analysis.