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Detection and diagnostic of freeplay induced limit cycle oscillation in the flight control system of a civil aircraft

Urbano, Simone. Detection and diagnostic of freeplay induced limit cycle oscillation in the flight control system of a civil aircraft. PhD, Signal, Image, Acoustique et Optimisation, Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, 2019

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This research study is the result of a 3 years CIFRE PhD thesis between the Airbus design office(Aircraft Control domain) and TéSA laboratory in Toulouse. The main goal is to propose, developand validate a software solution for the detection and diagnosis of a specific type of elevator andrudder vibration, called limit cycle oscillation (LCO), based on existing signals available in flightcontrol computers on board in-series aircraft. LCO is a generic mathematical term defining aninitial condition-independent periodic mode occurring in nonconservative nonlinear systems. Thisstudy focuses on the LCO phenomenon induced by mechanical freeplays in the control surface ofa civil aircraft. The LCO consequences are local structural load augmentation, flight handlingqualities deterioration, actuator operational life reduction, cockpit and cabin comfort deteriorationand maintenance cost augmentation. The state-of-the-art for freeplay induced LCO detection anddiagnosis is based on the pilot sensitivity to vibration and to periodic freeplay check on the controlsurfaces. This study is thought to propose a data-driven solution to help LCO and freeplaydiagnosis. The goal is to improve even more aircraft availability and reduce the maintenance costsby providing to the airlines a condition monitoring signal for LCO and freeplays. For this reason,two algorithmic solutions for vibration and freeplay diagnosis are investigated in this PhD thesis. Areal time detector for LCO diagnosis is first proposed based on the theory of the generalized likeli hood ratio test (GLRT). Some variants and simplifications are also proposed to be compliantwith the industrial constraints. In a second part of this work, a mechanical freeplay detector isintroduced based on the theory of Wiener model identification. Parametric (maximum likelihoodestimator) and non parametric (kernel regression) approaches are investigated, as well as somevariants to well-known nonparametric methods. In particular, the problem of hysteresis cycleestimation (as the output nonlinearity of a Wiener model) is tackled. Moreover, the constrainedand unconstrained problems are studied. A theoretical, numerical (simulator) and experimental(flight data and laboratory) analysis is carried out to investigate the performance of the proposeddetectors and to identify limitations and industrial feasibility. The obtained numerical andexperimental results confirm that the proposed GLR test (and its variants/simplifications) is a very appealing method for LCO diagnostic in terms of performance, robustness and computationalcost. On the other hand, the proposed freeplay diagnostic algorithm is able to detect relativelylarge freeplay levels, but it does not provide consistent results for relatively small freeplay levels. Moreover, specific input types are needed to guarantee repetitive and consistent results. Further studies should be carried out in order to compare the GLRT results with a Bayesian approach and to investigate more deeply the possibilities and limitations of the proposed parametric method for Wiener model identification.

Item Type:PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Research Director:
Tourneret, Jean-Yves and Chaumette, Éric
Deposited On:27 Sep 2019 14:27

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