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Design, Specification, and Synthesis of Aircraft Electric Power Systems Control Logic


Xu, Huan (2013) Design, Specification, and Synthesis of Aircraft Electric Power Systems Control Logic. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/QDJN-BB72.


Cyber-physical systems integrate computation, networking, and physical processes. Substantial research challenges exist in the design and verification of such large-scale, distributed sensing, ac- tuation, and control systems. Rapidly improving technology and recent advances in control theory, networked systems, and computer science give us the opportunity to drastically improve our approach to integrated flow of information and cooperative behavior. Current systems rely on text-based spec- ifications and manual design. Using new technology advances, we can create easier, more efficient, and cheaper ways of developing these control systems. This thesis will focus on design considera- tions for system topologies, ways to formally and automatically specify requirements, and methods to synthesize reactive control protocols, all within the context of an aircraft electric power system as a representative application area.

This thesis consists of three complementary parts: synthesis, specification, and design. The first section focuses on the synthesis of central and distributed reactive controllers for an aircraft elec- tric power system. This approach incorporates methodologies from computer science and control. The resulting controllers are correct by construction with respect to system requirements, which are formulated using the specification language of linear temporal logic (LTL). The second section addresses how to formally specify requirements and introduces a domain-specific language for electric power systems. A software tool automatically converts high-level requirements into LTL and synthesizes a controller.

The final sections focus on design space exploration. A design methodology is proposed that uses mixed-integer linear programming to obtain candidate topologies, which are then used to synthesize controllers. The discrete-time control logic is then verified in real-time by two methods: hardware and simulation. Finally, the problem of partial observability and dynamic state estimation is ex- plored. Given a set placement of sensors on an electric power system, measurements from these sensors can be used in conjunction with control logic to infer the state of the system.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Control Logic, Synthesis, Aircraft Electric Power System, Cyberphysical System
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Mechanical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Murray, Richard M.
Thesis Committee:
  • Burdick, Joel Wakeman (chair)
  • Chandy, K. Mani
  • Holzmann, Gerard J.
  • Murray, Richard M.
Defense Date:22 May 2013
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:05312013-103940337
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7789
Deposited By: Huan Xu
Deposited On:03 Jun 2013 21:00
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 00:01

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