Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Mario Perhinschi

Committee Co-Chair

Larry Banta

Committee Member

Powsiri Klinkhachorn

Committee Member

Victor Mucino

Committee Member

Jacky Prucz


Abnormal flight conditions play a major role in aircraft accidents frequently causing loss of control. To ensure aircraft operation safety in all situations, intelligent system monitoring and adaptation must rely on accurately detecting the presence of abnormal conditions as soon as they take place, identifying their root cause(s), estimating their nature and severity, and predicting their impact on the flight envelope.;Due to the complexity and multidimensionality of the aircraft system under abnormal conditions, these requirements are extremely difficult to satisfy using existing analytical and/or statistical approaches. Moreover, current methodologies have addressed only isolated classes of abnormal conditions and a reduced number of aircraft dynamic parameters within a limited region of the flight envelope.;This research effort aims at developing an integrated and comprehensive framework for the aircraft abnormal conditions detection, identification, and evaluation based on the artificial immune systems paradigm, which has the capability to address the complexity and multidimensionality issues related to aircraft systems.;Within the proposed framework, a novel algorithm was developed for the abnormal conditions detection problem and extended to the abnormal conditions identification and evaluation. The algorithm and its extensions were inspired from the functionality of the biological dendritic cells (an important part of the innate immune system) and their interaction with the different components of the adaptive immune system. Immunity-based methodologies for re-assessing the flight envelope at post-failure and predicting the impact of the abnormal conditions on the performance and handling qualities are also proposed and investigated in this study.;The generality of the approach makes it applicable to any system. Data for artificial immune system development were collected from flight tests of a supersonic research aircraft within a motion-based flight simulator. The abnormal conditions considered in this work include locked actuators (stabilator, aileron, rudder, and throttle), structural damage of the wing, horizontal tail, and vertical tail, malfunctioning sensors, and reduced engine effectiveness. The results of applying the proposed approach to this wide range of abnormal conditions show its high capability in detecting the abnormal conditions with zero false alarms and very high detection rates, correctly identifying the failed subsystem and evaluating the type and severity of the failure. The results also reveal that the post-failure flight envelope can be reasonably predicted within this framework.