Distributed control of large segmented telescopes

Shengxiang Jiang, Petros G. Voulgaris, Leland E. Holloway, Laird A. Thompson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In this paper we conduct a preliminary study of controlling the primary mirror of a large segmented telescope. This work is motivated by the need of astronomers to study the development of structure in the universe. First, we present some background about large segmented telescopes and our collaborative research program on large telescopes. Second, we formulate a model of the primary mirror system in state space. Third, we design a centralized controller using H2 methods for a seven-segment system which establishes the best possible performance characteristics for a laboratory-type of unit that we plan to build. Simulation results are displayed. Finally, we apply spatially-invariant distributed control techniques to an infinite segmented system that approximates a large mirror. Through the H2 norm, we calculate upper bounds for the relative displacements between adjacent segments with either a spatially-invariant infinite controller or a truncated local controller. Simulation results are also presented with a truncated local controller applied to a 19-segment system. In all cases, the results indicate that the required accuracy of 10-8m can be achieved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2006 American Control Conference
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
Event2006 American Control Conference - Minneapolis, MN, United States
Duration: Jun 14 2006Jun 16 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619


Other2006 American Control Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMinneapolis, MN


  • Distributed
  • Segmented
  • Spatial-invariance
  • Strehl ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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