Robust damage-mitigating control of aircraft for high performance and structural durability

Jeffrey Caplin, Asok Ray, Suresh M. Joshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This paper presents the concept and a design methodology for robust damage-mitigating control (DMC) of aircraft. The goal of DMC is to simultaneously achieve high performance and structural durability. The controller design procedure involves consideration of damage at critical points of the structure, as well as the performance requirements of the aircraft. An aeroelastic model of the wings has been formulated and is incorporated into a nonlinear rigid-body model of aircraft flight-dynamics. Robust damage-mitigating controllers are then designed using the H-based structured singular value (μ) synthesis method based on a linearized model of the aircraft. In addition to penalizing the error between the ideal performance and the actual performance of the aircraft, frequency-dependent weights are placed on the strain amplitude at the root of each wing. Using each controller in turn, the control system is put through an identical sequence of maneuvers, and the resulting (varying amplitude cyclic) stress profiles are analyzed using a fatigue crack growth model that incorporates the effects of stress overload. Comparisons are made to determine the impact of different weights on the resulting fatigue crack damage in the wings. The results of simulation experiments show significant savings in fatigue life of the wings while retaining the dynamic performance of the aircraft.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3048-3052
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the American Control Conference
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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