The feedback control of laminar plane Poiseuille flow is considered. In common with many flows, the dynamics of plane Poiseuille flow is very non-normal. Consequently, small perturbations grow rapidly with a large transient that may trigger non-linearities and lead to turbulence, even though such perturbations would, in a linear flow, eventually decay. This sensitivity can be measured using the maximum transient energy growth. The linearized flow equations are discretized using spectral methods and then considered at one wave-number pair in order to obtain a model of the flow dynamics in a form suitable for advanced control design. State feedback controllers that minimize an upper bound on the maximum transient energy growth are obtained by the repeated solution of a set of linear matrix inequalities. The controllers are tested using a full Navier–Stokes solver, and the transient energy response magnitudes are significantly reduced compared with the uncontrolled ca
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