Date of Award

Summer 2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Electrical/Computer Engineering

Committee Director

W. Steven Gray

Committee Member

Oscar R. Gonzalez

Committee Member

Gene Hou

Committee Member

Dimitrie C. Popescu

Abstract

It is known that high intensity radiated fields (HIRF) can produce upsets in digital electronics, and thereby degrade the performance of digital flight control systems. Such upsets, either from natural or man-made sources, can change data values on digital buses and memory and affect CPU instruction execution. HIRF environments are also known to trigger common-mode faults, affecting nearly-simultaneously multiple fault containment regions, and hence reducing the benefits of n-modular redundancy and other fault-tolerant computing techniques. Thus, it is important to develop models which describe the integration of the embedded digital system, where the control law is implemented, as well as the dynamics of the closed-loop system.

In this dissertation, theoretical tools are presented to analyze the relationship between the design choices for a class of distributed recoverable computing platforms and the tracking performance degradation of a digital flight control system implemented on such a platform while operating in a HIRF environment. Specifically, a tractable hybrid performance model is developed for a digital flight control system implemented on a computing platform inspired largely by the NASA family of fault-tolerant, reconfigurable computer architectures known as SPIDER (scalable processor-independent design for enhanced reliability). The focus will be on the SPIDER implementation, which uses the computer communication system known as ROBUS-2 (reliable optical bus). A physical HIRF experiment was conducted at the NASA Langley Research Center in order to validate the theoretical tracking performance degradation predictions for a distributed Boeing 747 flight control system subject to a HIRF environment. An extrapolation of these results for scenarios that could not be physically tested is also presented.

DOI

10.25777/rmmh-5a26

ISBN

9781124973135

Share

COinS