Compound rotorcraft yaw control fault detection

Jeffrey A. Lewis, Venkatakrishnan Iyer, Eric N. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Emerging vertical flight concepts being proffered for solutions to the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) mission set such as compound high speed rotorcraft can be designed with multiple, coupled control effectors thus creating redundant systems in one or two more axes to generate control forces and moments which allow for a range of trim states. In the FVL mission area future rotorcraft will be asked to fly into high threat environments where potential failure modes can be encountered due to enemy fire or mechanical failure causing reduction of the safe flight envelope. Fault detection creates options to increase the survivability of the crew and passengers allowing an emergency flight envelope to be proposed. One of the more serious potential failures due to enemy fire is a loss of yaw control. Faults in yaw control can be detected in a compound rotorcraft with a vectored thrust ducted propeller (VTDP) or similar anti-torque thruster. An online Kalman filter (KF) for a dimensional yaw moment coefficient model will be used to estimate vehicle yaw coefficients. Deviation from the nominal coefficients will be monitored based on the KF statistics in the case of both rudder and tail rotor failure at 60, 40, and 20 ft/s in forward flight. Both frozen zero rudder and ganged sector faults as well as failed tail rotor faults were successfully detected at all airspeeds except the failed tail rotor at 60 ft/s. For the yaw control faults considered, post fault excitation appears airspeed dependent. An online KF estimator for yaw control fault detection could successfully be integrated into the design of a compound rotorcraft with VTDP thereby increasing system safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2020
EventVertical Flight Society's 76th Annual Forum and Technology Display - Virtual, Online
Duration: Oct 5 2020Oct 8 2020


ConferenceVertical Flight Society's 76th Annual Forum and Technology Display
CityVirtual, Online

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Compound rotorcraft yaw control fault detection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this