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Signal reconstruction and disturbance observer-based fault-tolerant control for civil aircrafts

Xinjian Ma (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China)
Shiqian Liu (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China and Aerospace Cranfield University, Bedford, UK)
Huihui Cheng (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China)
Weizhi Lyu (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 25 October 2021

Issue publication date: 7 January 2022




This paper aims to focus on the sensor fault-tolerant control (FTC) for civil aircraft under exterior disturbance.


First, a three-step cubature Kalman filter (TSCKF) is designed to detect and isolate the sensor fault and to reconstruct the sensor signal. Meanwhile, a nonlinear disturbance observer (NDO) is designed for disturbance estimation. The NDO and the TSCKF are combined together and an NDO-TSCKF is proposed to solve the problem of sensor faults and bounded disturbances simultaneously. Furthermore, an FTC scheme is designed based on the nonlinear dynamic inversion (NDI) and the NDO-TSCKF.


The method is verified by a Cessna 172 aircraft model under bias gyro fault and constant angular rate disturbance. The proposed NDO-TSCKF has the ability of signal reconstruction and disturbance estimation. The proposed FTC scheme is also able to solve the sensor fault and disturbance simultaneously.

Research limitations/implications

NDO-TSCKF is the novel algorithm used in sensor signal reconstruction for aircraft. Then, disturbance observer-based FTC can improve the flight control system performances when the system with faults.

Practical implications

The NDO-TSCKF-based FTC scheme can be used to solve the sensor fault and exterior disturbance in flight control. For example, the bias gyro fault with constant angular rate disturbance of a civil aircraft is studied.

Social implications

Signal reconstruction for critical sensor faults and disturbance observer-based FTC for civil aircraft are useful in modern civil aircraft design and development.


This is the research paper studies on the signal reconstruction and FTC scheme for civil aircraft. The proposed NDO-TSCKF is better than the current reconstruction filter because the failed sensor signal can be reconstructed under disturbances. This control scheme has a better fault-tolerant capability for sensor faults and bounded disturbances than using regular NDI control.



This work has been funded by the Chinese Aviation Science Fund under Grant 20160757001 and the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 10577012.


Ma, X., Liu, S., Cheng, H. and Lyu, W. (2022), "Signal reconstruction and disturbance observer-based fault-tolerant control for civil aircrafts", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 94 No. 2, pp. 226-239.



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