Implementation Challenges for Multivariable Control: What You Did Not Learn in School

Discipline: Guidance, Navigation and Control

Presented via Webcast on 6-18-2014

Multivariable control allows controller designs that can provide decoupled command tracking and robust performance in the presence of modeling uncertainties. Although the last three decades have seen extensive development of multivariable control theory and example applications to complex systems in software/hardware simulations, there are no “production” flying systems – aircraft or spacecraft, that use multivariable control. This is because of the tremendous challenges associated with implementation of such multivariable control designs. Unfortunately, the curriculum in schools does not provide sufficient time to be able to provide an exposure to the students in such implementation challenges. The objective of this presentation is to share the lessons learned by a practitioner of multivariable control in the process of applying some of the modern control theory to the Integrated Flight Propulsion Control (IFPC) design for an Advanced Short Take-Off Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft simulation. The presentation focuses on the challenges and barriers of using multivariable control designs in real flight systems, and presents tools and techniques for overcoming some of the barriers with illustrative examples from the STOVL IFPC design study.

Discipline: Guidance Navigation & Control

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