Combining expert system and analytical redundancy concepts for fault-tolerant flight control

David A. Handelman, Robert F. Stengel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


A technique for rule-based fault-tolerant flight control is presented. 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 that integrates quantitative analytical redundancy techniques and heuristic expert system concepts for the purpose of in-flight, real-time fault tolerance is described. 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 using linear discrete-time deterministic simulations of a tandem-rotor helicopter’s dynamics is demonstrated. It is found that the rule-based control technique enhances existing redundancy management systems, providing smooth integration of symbolic and numeric computation, a search-based decision-making mechanism, straightforward system organization and debugging, an incremental growth capability, and inherent parallelism for computational speed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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