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Abstract

We demonstrate that the fatal crash of El Al Flight 1862 might have been avoided by using MPC-based fault-tolerant control. Simulation on a detailed nonlinear model shows that it is possible to reconfigure the controller so that the aircraft is flown successfully down to ground level, without entering the condition in which it was lost. We use a reference-model based approach, in which an MPC controller attempts to restore the original functionality of the pilot’s controls. For the purposes of simulation, we emulate the pilot by another MPC controller, running at a lower sampling rate. We assume in this paper that an FDI function delivers information about actuator damage, and about changes to aerodynamic coefficients in the failed condition.

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