Hierarchical Control of Aircraft Electro-Thermal Systems

Justin P. Koeln, Herschel C. Pangborn, Matthew A. Williams, Malia L. Kawamura, Andrew G. Alleyne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


A hierarchical model predictive control (MPC) approach is developed for energy management of aircraft electro-thermal systems. High-power electrical systems on board modern and future aircraft perform a variety of mission- and flight-critical tasks, while thermal management systems actively cool these electronics to satisfy component-specific temperature constraints, ensuring safe and reliable operation. In this paper, coordination of these electrical and thermal systems is performed using a hierarchical control approach that decomposes the multi-energy domain, constrained optimization problem into smaller, more computationally efficient problems that can be solved in real-time. A hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) experimental testbed is used to evaluate the proposed hierarchical MPC in comparison to a baseline controller for a scaled, laboratory representation of an aircraft electro-thermal system. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed approach outperforms the baseline controller across a range of electrical loading in terms of both efficient energy management and constraint satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8689055
Pages (from-to)1218-1232
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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