This paper presents an approach for using two-port circuit synthesis methods as a basis for designing actuator subsystems. The development of this methodology is generally motivated by problems in retrofit design, where technology reinsertion is required to replace legacy systems, or for early stage design in new mechatronic systems. The particular problem of electric ship control surface actuation is used as an example application. A procedure that integrates two-port network synthesis methods with a model-basis conveyed using bond graphs is presented and applied to the problem of synthesizing a candidate actuation system for a submarine control surface. Studying the control surface actuator problem shows that a synthesis method is capable of providing insight into balancing passive compensation with actuation (active elements). The ability to partition active and passive system elements suggests promise in developing a means for integrating passive energy storage with actuation subsystems.

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