Design and Implementation of Supervisory Wireless Control: Aircraft Braking System Case Study

Vigneshwaran Venugopalan, Rishi Relan, Haydn A. Thompson, Max C.Y. Ong, Peter J. Fleming


There is an increasing interest in the use of wireless communication for aerospace applications especially for closed-loop control applications. This paper presents the challenges associated with wireless closed-loop control in safety-critical aerospace applications. It also highlights the potential advantages of a fly-by-wireless system. A case study of the design and implementation of a wireless feedback control system for an aircraft electric braking system is presented. A sensorless supervisory control approach is proposed for a wireless aircraft braking system. The developed sensorless supervisory control method addresses the issue of lost data packets in feedback loops, a key challenge in wireless implementations. Finally, the implemented algorithm is tested in real-time using a wireless hardware demonstrator. The effectiveness of the algorithm in real-time is assessed by deliberately introducing packet loss and radio interference.


Wireless networked control system, Fly-By-Wireless, Kalman Filter, Packet Loss, Supervisory Control, Sensorless feedback control

Full Text:



“Messier-Bugatti, a global player in aircraft braking,” 2006 White Paper, [online], (cited May 2014).

Graf, H.B., Hermanns, H., Kulshrestha, J., Peter, J., Vahldiek, A., and Vasudevan, A., “A Verified Wireless Safety Critical Hard Real-Time Design,” in IEEE International Symposium on a World of Wireless, Mobile and Multimedia Networks, 2011, pp. 1–9.

I-Hong Hou and Kumar, P.R., “A Survey of Recent Results on Real-Time Wireless Networking,” Proceedings of Real-time Wireless for Industrial Applications, CPS Week, Chicago, April 11, 2011.

Zhang, W., Branicky, M.S., and Philips, S.M., “Stability of networked control systems,” IEEE Control Systems Magazine, 21(1), February 2001, pp. 84-99.

Pajic, M., Sundaram, S., Pappas, G.J., and Mangalram, R., “The Wireless Control Network: A New Approach for Control over Networks,” IEEE transactions on automatic control, vol.56,no.10, October 2011, pp. 2305-2318.

Nikolakopoulos, G., Panousopoulou, A., and Tzes, A., “Switched feedback control for wireless networked control systems,” Networked Control Systems, Springer-Verlag, London, 2008, pp. 153-195.

Wagner,R.S. (2010). Standard-Based Wireless Sensor Networking Protocols for Spaceflight Applications. NASA Johnson Space Centre.

WICAS. [Online], (cited May 2014).

Song, J.S et al., “WirelessHART: Applying Wireless Technology in Real-Time Industrial Process Control,” 2008 IEEE Real-Time Embed. Technol. Appl. Symp., 2008.

Mifdaoui, A., and Gayraud, T., “Fly-By-Wireless for next generation aircraft: Challenges and potential solutions,” in 2012 IFIP Wireless Days, 2012, pp. 1–8.

Ulusoy, A., Gurbuz, O., and Onat, A., “Wireless Model-Based Predictive Networked Control System Over Cooperative Wireless Network,” IEEE Trans. Ind. Informatics, vol. 7, pp. 41–51, 2011.

Tipsuwan, Y., and Chow, M.Y., “Gain scheduler middleware: a methodology to enable existing controllers for networked control and teleoperation-part II: teleoperation,” IEEE Trans. Ind. Electron., vol. 51, 2004.

Nikolakopoulos, G., Panousopoulou, A., Tzes, A., and Lygeros, J., “Multi-hopping Induced Gain Scheduling for Wireless Networked Controlled Systems,” Proc. 44th IEEE Conf. Decis. Control, 2005.

Heemels, M.H., Johansson, K.H., and Tabuada, P., “An introduction to event-triggered and self-triggered control,” in 2012 IEEE 51st IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC), 2012, pp. 3270–3285.

McKernan, A.D., and Irwin, G.W., “Event-based sampling for wireless network control systems with QoS,” Am. Control Conf. (ACC), 2010, 2010.

Wang, X., and Lemmon, M.D., “Event-Triggering in Distributed Networked Control Systems,” IEEE Trans. Automat. Contr., vol. 56, pp. 586–601, 2011.

Chamaken, A., and Litz, L., “Joint design of control and communication in wireless networked control systems: A case study,” in 2010 American Control Conference (ACC), 2010, pp. 1835–1840.

Colandairaj, J., Irwin, G.W., and Scanlon, W.G., “A Co-Design Solution for Wireless Feedback Control,” 2007 IEEE Int. Conf. Networking, Sens. Control, 2007.

Park, P., Araujo, J., and Johansson, K.H., “Wireless networked control system co-design,” 2011 Int. Conf. Networking, Sens. Control, pp. 486–491, 2011.

Ding, S.X., Zhang, P., Yin, S., and Ding, E.L., “An Integrated Design Framework of Fault-Tolerant Wireless Networked Control Systems for Industrial Automatic Control Applications,” IEEE Trans. Ind. Informatics, vol. 9, pp. 462–471, 2013.

Horvath, P., Yampolskiy, M., Xue, Y., Koutsoukos, X.D., and Sztipanovits, J., “An integrated system simulation approach for wireless networked control systems,” in 2012 5th International Symposium on Resilient Control Systems, 2012, pp. 118–123.

Hernandez, A., Faria, J.F., Araújo, J., Park, P.G., Sandberg, H., and Johansson, K.H., “Inverted Pendulum Control over an IEEE 802.15.4 Wireless Sensor and Actuator Network,” in European Conference on Wireless Sensor Networks, 2011.

Naman, A.T., Abdulmuin, M.Z., and Arof, H., “Implementation and performance evaluation of a wireless feedback loop for water level control,” 2000 TENCON Proceedings. Intell. Syst. Technol. New Millenn. (Cat. No.00CH37119), vol. 2, 2000.

Seth, S., Lynch, J.P., and Tilbury, D.M., “Wirelessly networked distributed controllers for real-time control of civil structures,” Proc. 2005, Am. Control Conf. 2005., 2005.

Bo, L., and Li, Y., “Research on Simulation of Aircraft Electric Braking System,” Recent Advances in Computer Science and Information Engineering, Springer-Verlag GmbH Berlin Heidelberg,Vol. 3, 2012, pp. 301-309.

“Electric Braking, A Major Technological Advance,” Electric Brake [online], (cited May 2014).

Thompson, H.A., “Wireless and Internet Communications technologies for monitoring and control,” Control Engineering Practice 12, 2003, pp.781-791.

Zaidan, M.A., Mills, A.R., Harrison, R.F., “Bayesian Framework for Aerospace Gas Turbine Engine Prognostics,” IEEE Aersopace Conference, 2013, pp. 1-8.

“FBW 12,” CANEUS Fly-by-wireless Workshop, Ottawa, Canada, August 27-28, 2012.

“Aircraft wiring Incidents Persisting in aging systems,” Flight Safety Foundation, Aviation Mechanics Bulletin, Sep-Oct 2004.

Yedavalli, R.K., Belapurkar, R.K., “Application of wireless sensor networks to aircraft control and health management systems,” Journal of Control Theory Applications, Vol. 9(1), 2011, pp. 28-33.

Ralph, K., “Standardization of CAN networks for airborne use through ARINC 825,” Airbus Operations GmbH, iCC, Bremen, Germany, 2012.

Soo Young Shin, “Extending CAN protocol with ISA100.11a wireless network,” International Conference on ICT Convergence (ICTC), 15-17 Oct 2012, pp. 472-276.

Ong, M., Thompson, H.A., “Hybrid Wireless RF Controller Area Network (CAN) for Wireless Monitoring and Control with Energy-efficient Self-Powered Sensor Systems”, Technical Report, THHINK Wireless Technologies Ltd, Sheffield, UK, August 2013.

Cervin, A., Henriksson, D., Lincoln, B., Eker, J., and Arzen, K.E., “How Does Control Timing Affect Performance? Analysis and Simulation of Timing Using Jitterbug and TrueTime,” IEEE Control Systems Magazine, 23:3, June 2003, pp. 16-30.

Preindl, M., and Schaltz, E., “Sensorless Model Predictive Direct Current Control Using Novel Second-Order PLL Observer for PMSM Drive Systems,” IEEE Trans. Ind. Electron., vol. 58, pp. 4087–4095, 2011.

Fahimi, B., Emadi, A., and Sepe, B.J., “Position sensorless control,” IEEE Ind. Appl. Mag., vol. 10, 2004.

Ahmadi, A., Salmasi, F.R., Noori-Manzar, M., and Najafabadi, T.A., “Speed Sensorless and Sensor-Fault Tolerant Optimal PI Regulator for Networked DC Motor System With Unknown Time-Delay and Packet Dropout,” IEEE Trans. Ind. Electron., vol. 61, pp. 708–717, 2014.

Kalman, R.E., “A new approach to linear filtering and prediction problems,” Journal of Basic Engineering, Trans. ASMED,Vol. 82, No. 1, 1960, pp. 35-45.

Grewal, M.S., “Applications of Kalman Filtering in Aerospace 1960 to the Present,” IEEE Control Systems Magazine, Vol. 30, Issue 3, June 2010, pp. 69-78.

Xue, W., and Guo, Y.Q., “Application of Kalman Filters for the Fault Diagnoses of Aircraft Engine,” Kalman Filter, [online database], (cited May 2014).

Sinopoli, B., Schenato, L., Franceschetti, M., Poolla, K., Jordan, M.I., and Sastry, S.S., “Kalman Filtering with Intermittent Observations,” Proceedings of 42nd IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, 2003, pp. 701-708.

Liu, X., and Goldsmith A., “Kalman Filtering with Partial Observation Losses,” Proceedings of 15th Intl. Symposium on the Mathematical Theory of Networks and Systems, Atlantis, Bahamas, December 2004, pp. 4180-4183.

Welch, G., Bishop, G., “An Introduction to the Kalman filter,” [Online], (cited May 2014).

Schenato, L., “Kalman Filtering for Network Control System with Random Delay and Packet Loss,” Intl. Symposium on Mathematical Theory of Networks and Systems (MTNS 06), Japan, July 2006

Khan, N., “Linear Prediction Approaches to Compensation of Missing Measurements in Kalman Filtering,” PhD Dissertation, Control and Instrumentation Research Group, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK, 2011.

IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) for Time Synchronisation, [online], (cited May 2014).

Venugopalan, V., “Modelling and design of Electric Braking System for Civilian Aircraft,” Master’s Thesis, Electronic and Electrical Engineering Dept., The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK, 2010.

MSP430x5xx and MSP430x6xx Family User’s Guide, Texas Instruments, Literature Number: SLAU208M, Feb 2013.

CC2500, Low-Cost Low-Power 2.4GHz RF Transceiver, Texas Instruments, Literature Number: SWRS040C, [online database], (cited May 2014).



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.