Annual Conference of the Prognostics and Health Management Society, 2009

Prognostics Enhanced Reconfigurable Control of Electro-Mechanical Actuators

DouglasW. Brown1 , George Georgoulas1, Brian Bole1, Hai-Long Pei2, Marcos Orchard3, Liang Tang4, Bhaskar Saha5, Abhinav Saxena5, Kai Goebel5, George Vachtsevanos1
1Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, 30332, USA
2South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640 P.R. China
3Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile
4Impact Technologies, LLC., Rochester, NY 14623, USA
5NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035, USA


Actuator systems are employed widely in aerospace, transportation and industrial processes to provide power to critical loads, such as aircraft control surfaces. They must operate reliably and accurately in order for the vehicle / process to complete successfully its designated mission. Incipient actuator failure conditions may severely endanger the operational integrity of the vehicle / process and compromise its mission. The ability to maintain a stable and credible operation, even in the presence of incipient failures, is of paramount importance to accomplish “must achieve” mission objectives. This paper introduces a novel methodology for the fault-tolerant design of critical subsystems, such as an Electro- Mechanical Actuator (EMA), that takes advantage of on-line, real-time estimates of the Remaining Useful Life (RUL) or Time-to-Failure (TTF) of a failing component and reconfigures the available control authority by trading off system performance with control activity. The primary goal is to complete critical mission objectives within a time window dictated by prognostic algorithms so that the fault mode is accommodated and an acceptable level of performance maintained for the duration of the mission. The proposed fault-tolerant control design is mathematically rigorous, generic and applicable to a variety of application domains. An EMA is used to illustrate the efficacy of the proposed approach.

This article is available online here and to CALCE Consortium Members for personal review.

[Home Page] [Articles Page]
Copyright © 2009 by CALCE and the University of Maryland, All Rights Reserved