SMARTCOM is a computer program for the analysis and design of actively controlled “smart” structures. Typically, an actively controlled “smart” structure incorporates piezoelectric sensors and actuators that are used, in conjunction with an electrical control system, to damp vibrations. As is the case for other structures, the analysis and design of actively controlled “smart” structures is often best accomplished with the help of finite-element computer programs. Unfortunately, prior finite-element codes do not offer coupled analyses of the mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties of “smart”-structure materials. Also, they are not directly linked with control software, making it necessary to use separate finite-element and control programs to analyze controlled structures. Furthermore, the programs used heretofore to design “smart” structures do not offer capabilities for optimization or for probabilistic or fuzzy analysis.

This Data0Flow Diagram shows the relationships among some of the modules of SMARTCOM.
In contrast, SMARTCOM offers all of the needed functions and capabilities in one package. SMARTCOM can be used for finite-element modeling of electrical, mechanical, and thermal effects. It includes control algorithms for active damping, algorithms for optimizing the designs of structures, and algorithms for fuzzy and probabilistic modeling of uncertainties.

SMARTCOM comprises several modules that are used, variously, simultaneously or in sequence (see figure). At the present state of development, the modules are the following:

  • SMARTCOM (having the same name as that of the overall program) generates a graphical user interface (GUI) and controls the execution of the other modules. The GUI provides easy-to-use dialogues that help the user to specify data, define the problem, specify analysis options, visualize a structure, and visualize the results of the analysis of the structure. The results of the analysis can be displayed in both textual and graphical forms.
  • SMARTPRE preprocesses data for mathematical modeling.
  • SMARTMSH generates computational meshes for simple shapes.
  • SMARTFEM is a finite-element-analysis code that models mechanical, thermal, and electric fields and is integrated directly with control algorithms.
  • SMARTOPT contains optimization algorithms integrated with SMARTFEM.
  • SMARTFUZ contains fuzzy modeling algorithms integrated with SMARTFEM.
  • SMARTPRB implements probabilistic mathematical models and techniques.
  • SMARTPOS postprocesses the results of an analysis for display.

This work was done by Ming S. Hung of Expert System Applications, Inc., for Glenn Research Center. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at  under the Mechanics category.

Inquiries concerning rights for the commercial use of this invention should be addressed to NASA Glenn Research Center, Commercial Technology Office, Attn: Steve Fedor, Mail Stop 4–8, 21000 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44135. Refer to LEW-16810.