Input signals are needed for the numerical simulation of vehicle multibody systems. With these input data, the equations of motion can be integrated numerically and some output quantities can be calculated from the simulation results. In this work we consider the corresponding inverse problem: We assume that some reference output signals are available, typically gained by measurement and focus on the task to derive the input signals that produce the desired reference output in a suitable sense. If the input data is invariant, i.e., independent of the specific system, it can be transferred and used to excite other system variants. This problem can be formulated as optimal control problem. We discuss solution approaches from optimal control theory, their applicability to this special problem class and give some simulation results.

This work deals with the optimal control of a free surface Stokes flow which responds to an applied outer pressure. Typical applications are fiber spinning or thin film manufacturing. We present and discuss two adjoint-based optimization approaches that differ in the treatment of the free boundary as either state or control variable. In both cases the free boundary is modeled as the graph of a function. The PDE-constrained optimization problems are numerically solved by the BFGS method, where the gradient of the reduced cost function is expressed in terms of adjoint variables. Numerical results for both strategies are finally compared with respect to accuracy and efficiency.