A new near minimum fuel method for on-off decentralized control of flexible structures is introduced. Fuel minimization is achieved by turning on actuators when local velocities are in the neighborhood of a maximum and when local displacements are in the neighborhood of a minimum. Maximum velocity and minimum displacement neighborhoods at each actuator location are determined by recursively computing standard deviations of displacements and velocities over running intervals of time. The fuel consumed by on-off control is shown to be 20 percent lower than by linear optimal control for the same reductions in energy over the same periods of time. On-off control of a uniform beam illustrates the method.

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