Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Marcello Napolitano.


Flight control systems are undergoing a rapid process of automation. The use of Fly-By-Wire digital flight control systems in commercial aviation (Airbus 320 and Boeing FBW-B777) is a clear sign of this trend. The increased automation goes in parallel with an increased complexity of flight control systems with obvious consequences on reliability and safety. Flight control systems must meet strict fault-tolerance requirements. The standard solution to achieving fault tolerance capability relies on multi-string architectures. On the other hand, multi-string architectures further increase the complexity of the system inducing a reduction of overall reliability.;In the past two decades a variety of techniques based on analytical redundancy have been suggested for fault diagnosis purposes. While research on analytical redundancy has obtained desirable results, a design methodology involving requirements specification and feasibility analysis of analytical redundancy based fault tolerant flight control systems is missing.;The main objective of this research work is to describe within a formal framework the implications of adopting analytical redundancy as a basis to achieve fault tolerance. The research activity involves analysis of the analytical redundancy approach, analysis of flight control system informal requirements, and re-engineering (modeling and specification) of the fault tolerance requirements. The USAF military specification MIL-F-9490D and supporting documents are adopted as source for the flight control informal requirements. The De Havilland DHC-2 general aviation aircraft equipped with standard autopilot control functions is adopted as pilot application. Relational algebra is adopted as formal framework for the specification of the requirements.;The detailed analysis and formalization of the requirements resulted in a better definition of the fault tolerance problem in the framework of analytical redundancy. Fault tolerance requirements and related certification procedures turned out to be considerably more demanding than those typically adopted in the literature. Furthermore, the research work brought up to light important issues in all fields involved in the specification process, namely flight control system requirements, analytical redundancy, and requirements engineering.