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  • Author: Christopher Edwards x
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Sliding mode methods for fault detection and fault tolerant control with application to aerospace systems

Sliding mode methods have been historically studied because of their strong robustness properties with regard to a certain class of uncertainty, achieved by employing nonlinear control/injection signals to force the system trajectories to attain in finite time a motion along a surface in the state-space. This paper will consider how these ideas can be exploited for fault detection (specifically fault signal estimation) and subsequently fault tolerant control. It will also describe applications of these ideas to aerospace systems, including piloted flight simulator results associated with the GARTEUR AG16 Action Group on Fault Tolerant Control. The results demonstrate a successful real-time implementation of the proposed fault tolerant control scheme on a motion flight simulator configured to represent the post-failure EL-AL aircraft.


In this paper, integral sliding mode control ideas are combined with direct control allocation in order to create a fault tolerant control scheme. Traditional integral sliding mode control can directly handle actuator faults; however, it cannot do so with actuator failures. Therefore, a mechanism needs to be adopted to distribute the control effort amongst the remaining functioning actuators in cases of faults or failures, so that an acceptable level of closed-loop performance can be retained. This paper considers the possibility of introducing fault tolerance even if fault or failure information is not provided to the control strategy. To demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed scheme, a high fidelity nonlinear model of a large civil aircraft is considered in the simulations in the presence of wind, gusts and sensor noise.