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In this study, the problem of cooperative fault accommodation in formation flight of unmanned vehicles represented by linear time-invariant models that are subject to loss-of-effectiveness actuator faults is investigated through a hierarchical framework. Three hierarchical levels are envisaged, namely a low-level fault recovery (LLFR), a formation-level fault recovery and a high-level supervisor. In the LLFR module, a recovery controller is designed by using an estimate of the actuator fault. A performance monitoring module is then introduced at the high-level to identify a `partially low-level recovered` vehicle because of inaccuracy in the fault severity estimate that results in violating the `error specification` of the formation mission. The high-level supervisor then activates the formation-level fault recovery module to compensate for the resulting performance degradations of the partially low-level (LL) recovered vehicle at the expense of other healthy vehicles. The fault is accommodated by reconfiguring the formation structure through the novel notion of the weighted absolute measurement formation digraph, activating a robust controller for the partially LL recovered vehicle, and imposing a constraint on the desired input signals. Numerical simulations for a formation flight of five satellites in the planetary orbital environment are presented to confirm the validity and effectiveness of the proposed analytical work.
Date of Publication: Dec. 6 2012