A theory for fault-tolerant flight control combining expert system and analytical redundancy concepts

David A. Handelman, Robert F. Stengel

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper presents a theory for rule-based fault-tolerant flight control. The objective is to define methods for designing control systems capable of accommodating a wide range of aircraft failures, including sensor, control, and structural failures. A software architecture is described that integrates quantitative analytical redundancy techniques and heuristic expert system concepts for the purpose of in-flight, real-time fault tolerance. The resultant controller uses a rule-based expert system approach to transform the problem of failure accommodation task scheduling and selection into a problem of search. Control system performance under sensor and control failures is demonstrated using linear discrete-time deterministic simulations of a tandem-rotor helicopters dynamics. It is found that the rule-based control theory can be used to enhance existing redundancy management systems. This approach to control system design also provides inherent parallelism for computational speed, smooth integration of algorithmic and heuristic computation, a search-based decisionmaking mechanism, straightforward system organization and debugging, and an incremental growth capability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 1986
EventAstrodynamics Conference, 1986 - Williamsburg, United States
Duration: Aug 18 1986Aug 20 1986


OtherAstrodynamics Conference, 1986
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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