Model-based design and experimental verification of a monitoring concept for an active-active electromechanical aileron actuation system


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Flight controls


David Arriola, F. Thielecke

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Abstract Electromechanical actuators have become a key technology for the onset of power-by-wire flight control systems in the next generation of commercial aircraft. The design of robust control and monitoring functions for these devices capable to mitigate the effects of safety-critical faults is essential in order to achieve the required level of fault tolerance. A primary flight control system comprising two electromechanical actuators nominally operating in active-active mode is considered. A set of five signal-based monitoring functions are designed using a detailed model of the system under consideration which includes non-linear parasitic effects, measurement and data acquisition effects, and actuator faults. Robust detection thresholds are determined based on the analysis of parametric and input uncertainties. The designed monitoring functions are verified experimentally and by simulation through the injection of faults in the validated model and in a test-rig suited to the actuation system under consideration, respectively. They guarantee a robust and efficient fault detection and isolation with a low risk of false alarms, additionally enabling the correct reconfiguration of the system for an enhanced operational availability. In 98% of the performed experiments and simulations, the correct faults were detected and confirmed within the time objectives set.