Inner-Loop Control for Electromechanical (EMA) Flight Surface Actuation Systems Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • This manuscript pertains to the application of an inner-loop control strategy to electromechanical flight surface actuation systems. Modular electromechanical actuators (EMAs) are increasingly used in lieu of centralized hydraulics for the control of flight surfaces in the aerospace sector. The presence of what is termed as a dead zone in these actuators significantly affects the maneuverability, stability, and the flight profiles of aircrafts that use this actuation concept. The hypothesis of our research is that flight surface actuation systems may be desensitized to the effects of dead zone by using a control strategy with multiple inner loops. The proposed strategy involves (a) high-gain inner-loop velocity control of the driving motor and (b) inner-loop compensation for the differential velocity between the motor versus the aileron. The above hypothesis is confirmed by theoretical and simulated analyses using the model of an EMA flight surface actuator. Our results indicate that for small input signals, this strategy is very effective and that it can (a) considerably increase the bandwidth and the crossover frequency of the system and (b) considerably improve the time response of the system. Further to this analysis, this manuscript presents guidelines for the design of EMA systems.

publication date

  • September 1, 2008