Standard Article

Reconfigurable Flight Control

Dynamics and Control

Flight Control

  1. Youdan Kim1,
  2. Sungwan Kim2

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470686652.eae268

Encyclopedia of Aerospace Engineering

Encyclopedia of Aerospace Engineering

How to Cite

Kim, Y. and Kim, S. 2010. Reconfigurable Flight Control. Encyclopedia of Aerospace Engineering. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Seoul National University, Gwanak Ku, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Seoul, Korea

  2. 2

    NASA Langley Research Center, Dynamic Systems and Control Branch, Hampton, VA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


A reconfigurable flight control system (FCS) is a flight control system that can accommodate the effects of faults by modifying the control system when faults occur during flight. The reconfigurable flight control system provides a significant enhancement to flight safety and performance in the event of a system fault. In this chapter, various approaches for fault tolerant flight control are introduced: passive approaches utilizing robust control schemes and active approaches (control reconfiguration) utilizing fault detection and diagnosis (FDD), system identification, and adaptive control schemes. The active approach is classified into two methods: a fault detection and diagnosis-based approach, and an adaptive control-based approach. In the FDD-based approach, an efficient and accurate FDD algorithm is required. An appropriate controller is pre-designed for each fault model, and a switching mechanism is used in selecting the corresponding controller when a particular fault mode is declared by the FDD process. In the adaptive control-based approach, the FDD process is eliminated to make the fault tolerant control algorithm simple and allow it to adapt quickly to unknown faults. To compensate for the effects of faults in the adaptive control-based approach,

  1. the changed system parameters due to the faults are estimated or identified online and the controller is adjusted based on the estimated system, or

  2. the changed system model is parameterized in terms of the controller parameters that are directly updated without calculating the plant parameters.


  • reconfigurable flight control;
  • fault tolerant control;
  • redundancy management;
  • fault detection and diagnosis (FDD);
  • fault detection and isolation (FDI);
  • fault detection;
  • isolation/identification;
  • and reconfiguration (FDIR)