Reconfigurable Flight Control Systems for a Tandem Rotor Helicopter
Abstract:This paper describes a study on control reconfiguration as applied to a tandem‐rotor helicopter. Two reconfiguration strategies were examined: on‐line recalculation of control gains, and a method to redistribute control power to compensate in the event of failures. For linear systems with perfect damage information, the first approach was shown to be capable of completely recovering performance. Limitations of this approach for nonlinear and imperfect failure information are discussed. The second method was shown to be useful only when redundant control effectors were available. To apply it, thrust variation was used as an additional control. Three failure scenarios that caused degraded performance and sometimes catastrophic consequences were examined. In all cases, reconfiguration was able to stabilize the helicopter. Several handling qualities evaluations were performed. The conclusion is that control reconfiguration on rotorcraft appears viable but limited. Supplementing current rotorcraft with additional control effectors is highly desirable, if not necessary, if control reconfiguration is to be more applicable.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Grumman Northrop Research Center, Bethpage, NY
Publication date: January 1, 1999
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