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Laser-induced thermotherapy (LITT) is an established minimally invasive percutaneous technique of tumor ablation. Nevertheless, there is a need to predict the effect of laser applications and optimizing irradiation planning in LITT. Optical attributes (absorption, scattering) change due to thermal denaturation. The work presents the possibility to identify these temperature dependent parameters from given temperature measurements via an optimal control problem. The solvability of the optimal control problem is analyzed and results of successful implementations are shown.

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.

The primary objective of this work is the development of robust, accurate and efficient simulation methods for the optimal control of mechanical systems, in particular of constrained mechanical systems as they appear in the context of multibody dynamics. The focus is on the development of new numerical methods that meet the demand of structure preservation, i.e. the approximate numerical solution inherits certain characteristic properties from the real dynamical process.
This task includes three main challenges. First of all, a kinematic description of multibody systems is required that treats rigid bodies and spatially discretised elastic structures in a uniform way and takes their interconnection by joints into account. This kinematic description must not be subject to singularities when the system performs large nonlinear dynamics. Here, a holonomically constrained formulation that completely circumvents the use of rotational parameters has proved to perform very well. The arising constrained equations of motion are suitable for an easy temporal discretisation in a structure preserving way. In the temporal discrete setting, the equations can be reduced to minimal dimension by elimination of the constraint forces. Structure preserving integration is the second important ingredient. Computational methods that are designed to inherit system specific characteristics – like consistency in energy, momentum maps or symplecticity – often show superior numerical performance regarding stability and accuracy compared to standard methods. In addition to that, they provide a more meaningful picture of the behaviour of the systems they approximate. The third step is to take the previ- ously addressed points into the context of optimal control, where differential equation and inequality constrained optimisation problems with boundary values arise. To obtain meaningful results from optimal control simulations, wherein energy expenditure or the control effort of a motion are often part of the optimisation goal, it is crucial to approxi- mate the underlying dynamics in a structure preserving way, i.e. in a way that does not numerically, thus artificially, dissipate energy and in which momentum maps change only and exactly according to the applied loads.
The excellent numerical performance of the newly developed simulation method for optimal control problems is demonstrated by various examples dealing with robotic systems and a biomotion problem. Furthermore, the method is extended to uncertain systems where the goal is to minimise a probability of failure upper bound and to problems with contacts arising for example in bipedal walking.

We present an optimal control approach for the isothermal film casting process with free surfaces described by averaged Navier-Stokes equations. We control the thickness of the film at the take-up point using the shape of the nozzle. The control goal consists in finding an even thickness profile. To achieve this goal, we minimize an appropriate cost functional. The resulting minimization problem is solved numerically by a steepest descent method. The gradient of the cost functional is approximated using the adjoint variables of the problem with fixed film width. Numerical simulations show the applicability of the proposed method.

Optimal control methods for the calculation of invariant excitation signals for multibody systems
(2010)

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.