Research in Engineering and Aviation

Model-based Actuator Fault Tolerant Robust Control Architecture: An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Example

August 2009

Author(s): S. Jayaram

Journal: International Review of Aerospace Engineering, Volume 2, No. 4, pp. 192-198, 2009.


In this paper, development of a fault tolerant control architecture that couples techniques for fault detection and identification with reconfigurable flight control to augment the reliability and autonomy of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is presented. The developed fault tolerant control is applied to a fixed wing UAV. The fault tolerant control architecture recovers the UAV performance after the occurrence of faults. Robust measures are developed to identify faulty actuators that would degrade the performance envelopes. These robust measures are in-turn used to design a robust fault tolerant control law which is capable of switching from nominal control law to robust control laws under faulty conditions. It will be shown through simulations that the robust control law is capable of switching to redundant back-ups, thus maintaining the stability and overall performance measures of the system when there is an actuator failure of any kind.