Assessment of aircraft flight controllers using nonlinear robustness analysis techniques

Peter Seiler, Gary J. Balas, Andrew K. Packard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


The current practice to validate flight control laws relies on applying linear analysis tools to assess the closed loop stability and performance characteristics about many trim conditions. Nonlinear simulations are used to provide further confidence in the linear analyses and also to uncover dynamic characteristics, e.g. limit cycles, which are not revealed by the linear analysis. This chapter reviews nonlinear analysis techniques which can be applied to systems described by polynomial dynamic equations. The proposed approach is to approximate the aircraft dynamics using polynomial models. Nonlinear analyses can then be solved using sum-of-squares optimization techniques. The applicability of these methods is demonstrated with nonlinear analyses of an F/A-18 aircraft and NASA's Generic Transport Model aircraft. These nonlinear analysis techniques can fill the gap between linear analysis and nonlinear simulations and hence used to provide additional confidence in the flight control law performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptimization Based Clearance of Flight Control Laws
Subtitle of host publicationA Civil Aircraft Application
EditorsAndreas Varga, Anders Hansson, Guilhem Puyou
Number of pages29
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Control and Information Sciences
ISSN (Print)0170-8643


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment of aircraft flight controllers using nonlinear robustness analysis techniques'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this