Optimization-based design of fault-tolerant avionics

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Khamvilai, Thanakorn
Feron, Eric
Vamvoudakis, Kyriakos G.
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This dissertation considers the problem of improving the self-consciousness for avionic systems using numerical optimization techniques, emphasizing UAV applications. This self-consciousness implies a sense of awareness for oneself to make a reliable decision on some crucial aspects. In the context of the avionics or aerospace industry, those aspects are SWaP-C as well as safety and reliability. The decision-making processes to optimize these aspects, which are the main contributions of this work, are presented. In addition, implementation on various types of applications related to avionics and UAV are also provided. The first half of this thesis lays out the background of avionics development ranging from a mechanical gyroscope to a current state-of-the-art electronics system. The relevant mathematics regarding convex optimization and its algorithms, which will be used for formulating this self-consciousness problem, are also provided. The latter half presents two problem formulations for redundancy design automation and reconfigurable middleware. The first formulation focuses on the minimization of SWaP-C while satisfying safety and reliability requirements. The other one aims to maximize the system safety and reliability by introducing a fault-tolerant capability via the task scheduler of middleware or RTOS. The usage of these two formulations is shown by four aerospace applications---reconfigurable multicore avionics, a SITL simulation of a UAV GNC system, a modular drone, and a HITL simulation of a fault-tolerant distributed engine control architecture.
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