Immunity-based aircraft fault detection system


In the study reported in this paper, we have developed and applied an Artificial Immune System (AIS) algorithm for aircraft fault detection, as an extension to a previous work on intelligent flight control (IFC). Though the prior studies had established the benefits of IFC, one area of weakness that needed to be strengthened was the control dead band induced by commanding a failed surface. Since the IFC approach uses fault accommodation with no detection, the dead band, although it reduces over time due to learning, is present and causes degradation in handling qualities. If the failure can be identified, this dead band can be further minimized to ensure rapid fault accommodation and better handling qualities. The paper describes the application of an immunity-based approach that can detect a broad spectrum of known and unforeseen failures. The approach incorporates the knowledge of the normal operational behavior of the aircraft from sensory data, and probabilistically generates a set of pattern detectors that can detect any abnormalities (including faults) in the behavior pattern indicating unsafe in-flight operation. We developed a tool called MILD (Multi-level Immune Learning Detection) based on a real-valued negative selection algorithm that can generate a small number of specialized detectors (as signatures of known failure conditions) and a larger set of generalized detectors for unknown (or possible) fault conditions. Once the fault is detected and identified, an adaptive control system would use this detection information to stabilize the aircraft by utilizing available resources (control surfaces). We experimented with data sets collected under normal and various simulated failure conditions using a piloted motion-base simulation facility. The reported results are from a collection of test cases that reflect the performance of the proposed immunity-based fault detection algorithm.

Publication Title

Collection of Technical Papers - AIAA 1st Intelligent Systems Technical Conference