We present a control design method for nonlinear partial differential equations (PDEs) based on a combination of gain scheduling and backstepping theory for linear PDEs. A benchmark first-order hyperbolic system with a destabilizing in-domain nonlinearity is considered first. For this system a nonlinear feedback law based on gain scheduling is derived explicitly, and a statement of stability is presented for the closed-loop system. Control designs are then presented for a string and shear beam PDE, both with Kelvin-Voigt damping and potentially destabilizing free-end nonlinearities. String and beam simulation results illustrate the merits of the gain scheduling approach over the linearization-based design.

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