Aircraft mass estimation using quick access recorder data

Fang He, Lishuai Li, Weizun Zhao, Gang Xiao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Aircraft mass is the most important parameter airliners use to determine how much cargo and fuel they should take for the fight to maximize their proft while keep the total weight under the safety limit. For many practical reasons, airliners can not get the accurate aircraft mass data by weighting every cargo and passenger for each fight. Several studies have proposed methods to estimate aircraft mass based on radar data or ADS-B data. But due to the measurement errors in the data, and also due to uncertainties in aircraft confguration, it is hard to calculate accurate aircraft mass data for every fight. In the paper, the quick access recorder data are used for analysis, parameters that are not available in radar data or ADS-B data can now be used to eliminate parameters with large errors in the level fight point-mass dynamics model. Equations are reformulated as a set of overdetermined linear equations with nonlinearly structured errors in system matrix. The set of equations does not depend on inaccurate parameters like thrust and it does not require accurate knowledge of the aircraft like geometry, aerodynamic coefcients, etc. The set of equations is solved by an improved structured nonlinear total least squares method using Monte Carlo method. The method is applied to 120 real fights of Boeing 777300ER aircraft, the result shows a good accuracy for some type of fights.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDASC 2018 - IEEE/AIAA 37th Digital Avionics Systems Conference, Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
ISBN (Electronic)9781538641125
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event37th IEEE/AIAA International Digital Avionics Systems Conference, DASC 2018 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Sep 201827 Sep 2018

Publication series

NameAIAA/IEEE Digital Avionics Systems Conference - Proceedings
ISSN (Print)2155-7195
ISSN (Electronic)2155-7209


Conference37th IEEE/AIAA International Digital Avionics Systems Conference, DASC 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Aircraft mass estimation
  • Monte Carlo method
  • Overdetermined linear equations
  • Quick access recorder
  • Structured nonlinear total least squares


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