This paper presents the development and testing of a novel fault tolerant adaptive control system based on a bio-inspired immunity-based mechanism applied to an aircraft fighter model. The proposed baseline control laws use a non-linear dynamic inversion and model reference adaptive control on the inner loops of the aircraft dynamics. In this new approach, the baseline controllers are augmented with an artificial immune system mechanism that relies on a direct compensation inspired primarily by the biological immune system response. The effectiveness of the approach is demonstrated through a full 6 degrees-of-freedom aircraft model interfaced with a Flight gear environment. The performance of the proposed control laws are investigated under a novel set of performance metrics, which quantify the level of input activity from the pilot and from the control surfaces in order to ensure the stability and performance of the aircraft under different actuator and structural failures. Optimization of the parameters of the artificial immunity system is performed using a genetic algorithm. The results show that the optimized fault tolerant adaptive control laws improve significantly the failure rejection using minimum pilot input and control surfaces activity under upset flight conditions.

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