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Sponsors: MCA UPC MINECO ERDF Technical

Semi-plenary session: Philippe Goupil

FDI Future Needs and Challenges for Upcoming Civil Aircraft Generation: An Industrial Vision

Air transport is a major contributor to global economic prosperity and is the corner stone of global commerce with a myriad of economic and societal benefits. This expanding sector is trying to respond to the increased passenger demand - doubling every 15 years - by offering the latest innovations that meet evolving passenger trends and environmental demands while facing emerging competition. These are the 3 main pillars (air traffic growth, environmental footprint and competition) which drive the innovation need for the upcoming civil aircraft generation.

In this context, these needs come in several technical challenges that will be detailed during the presentation:

  • Sustainability: not obvious at the first sight, it can be demonstrated that detecting earlier smaller and smaller fault amplitude, as well as incipient faults, can lead to weight saving which in turn help decrease the aircraft environmental footprint. Advanced Fault Detection and Isolation (FDI) represents thus a promising technology to master and to mature for next generation aircraft.
  • To decrease the pilot workload, more and more extended Guidance Navigation and Control functions are used on-board. This requires extended flight parameter availability that can be achieved thanks to virtual sensors development (model-based or data-driven).
  • The use of different sensing technologies like for example vision-based technics to improve present-day FDI state of practice.
  • Model-based or data-driven data fusion to mix physical measurements and virtual sensors.
  • Managing the complexity: avionic systems are more and more complex leading to a growing complexity that will be crucial to manage on future aircraft.

In this presentation, these technical challenges will be illustrated by focusing on FDI in the Flight Control System (FCS). FCS is used to control the aircraft speed, trajectory and attitude and is one of the most critical systems on-board the aircraft. But to adopt a new FDI solution in such a system, and in a modern civil aircraft in general, several problems must be tackled:

  • To demonstrate that FDI solutions are able to answer to the aforementioned challenges: robustness, performances and complexity compliant with real-time constraints.
  • To prove that they present benefits over the existing in-service and already proven technical solutions.
  • To show the genericity of the solutions, that they are compliant with existing system architecture (e.g. no additional sensors).
  • To build around the existing solutions (i.e. being inspired by the industrial state of practice).
  • A solution that is easy to validate (e.g. not too many input parameters to tune) and accompanied by a tuning procedure.