Fault-tolerant reference generation for model predictive control with active diagnosis of elevator jamming faults

L. Ferranti*, Y. Wan, T. Keviczky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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This paper focuses on the longitudinal control of an Airbus passenger aircraft in the presence of elevator jamming faults. In particular, in this paper, we address permanent and temporary actuator jamming faults using a novel reconfigurable fault-tolerant predictive control design. Due to their different consequences on the available control authority and fault duration, the above 2 actuator jamming faults need to be distinguished so that appropriate control reconfigurations can be adopted accordingly. Their similarity in symptoms, however, prevents an effective discrimination of the root cause of the jamming when using only a passive fault-diagnosis approach. Hence, we propose the use of model predictive control (MPC) as a fault-tolerant controller to actively help the fault-detection (FD) unit discriminate between a permanent and a temporary jamming fault, while ensuring the performance of the aircraft. The MPC controller and the FD unit closely interact during the detection and diagnosis phases. In particular, every time a fault is detected, the FD module commands the MPC controller to perform a predefined sequence of reconfigurations to diagnose the root cause of the fault. An artificial reference signal that accounts for changes in the actuator operative ranges is used to guide the system through this sequence of reconfigurations. Our strategy is demonstrated on an Airbus passenger aircraft simulator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5412-5428
JournalInternational Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control
Volume29 (nov 2019)
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Active diagnosis
  • Fault-tolerant control
  • Flight control
  • Predictive control
  • Reconfigurable control
  • Reference generator


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