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Statler College of Engineering and Mining Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Although very uncommon, the sequential failures of all aircraft Pitot tubes, with the consequent loss of signals for all the dynamic parameters from the Air Data System, have been found to be the cause of a number of catastrophic accidents in aviation history. This paper proposes a robust data-driven method to detect faulty measurements of aircraft airspeed, angle of attack, and angle of sideslip. This approach first consists in the appropriate selection of suitable sets of model regressors to be used as inputs of neural network-based estimators to be used online for failure detection. The setup of the proposed fault detection method is based on the statistical analysis of the residual signals in fault-free conditions, which, in turn, allows the tuning of a pair of floating limiter detectors that act as time-varying fault detection thresholds with the objective of reducing both the false alarm rate and the detection delay. The proposed approach has been validated using real flight data by injecting artificial ramp and hard failures on the above sensors. The results confirm the capabilities of the proposed scheme showing accurate detection with a desirable low level of false alarm when compared with an equivalent scheme with conventional “a priori set” fixed detection thresholds. The achieved performance improvement consists mainly in a substantial reduction of the detection time while keeping desirable low false alarm rates.

Source Citation

Balzano, F., Fravolini, M. L., Napolitano, M. R., d’Urso, S., Crispoltoni, M., & del Core, G. (2018). Air Data Sensor Fault Detection with an Augmented Floating Limiter. International Journal of Aerospace Engineering, 2018, 1–16.


Copyright © 2018 Fabio Balzano et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



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