Modelling and control of a high redundancy actuator

The high redundancy actuation concept is a completely new approach to fault tolerance, and it is important to appreciate that it provides a transformation of the characteristics of actuators so that the actuation performance (capability) degrades slowly rather than suddenly failing, even though individual elements themselves fail. This paper aims to demonstrate the viability of the concept by showing that a highly redundant actuator, comprising a relatively large number of actuation elements, can be controlled in such a way that faults in individual elements are inherently accommodated, although some degradation in overall performance will inevitably be found. The paper introduces the notion of fault tolerant systems and the highly redundant actuator concept. Then a model for a two by two configuration with electromechanical actuation elements is derived. Two classical control approaches are then considered based on frequency domain techniques. Finally simulation results under a number of faults show the viability of the approach for fault accommodation without reconfiguration.