Stability analysis of digital linear flight controllers subject to electromagnetic disturbances

W. Steven Gray, Oscar R. González, Mustafa Doǧan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


High intensity electromagnetic radiation has been demonstrated to be a source of computer upsets in commercially available digital flight control systems. Such upsets can degrade the quality of the control signal ranging from a perturbation error over a few sample periods to a permanent error mode or computer failure. Under these conditions, the primary concern of the control engineer is to insure that the closed-loop system remains stable. A stochastic disturbance model and a set of associated stability assessment tools are introduced for determining stability robustness of a nominal closed-loop system subject to electromagnetic disturbances. The focus is primarily on flight control applications, but the methodology is suitable for any application where highly reliable digital control is needed. The technique is demonstrated on a simple test example and on a stabilizing controller for the longitudinal dynamics of the AFTI/F-16 aircraft.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1204-1218
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2000
Externally publishedYes


This research was supported by the NASA Langley Research Center under Contract numbers NAS1-19858-108 and NAS1-99093.

FundersFunder number
Langley Research CenterNAS1-99093, NAS1-19858-108


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