A linear point design methodology for minimizing the error in on-line Kalman filter-based aircraft engine performance estimation applications is presented. This technique specifically addresses the underdetermined estimation problem, where there are more unknown parameters than available sensor measurements. A systematic approach is applied to produce a model tuning parameter vector of appropriate dimension to enable estimation by a Kalman filter, while minimizing the estimation error in the parameters of interest. Tuning parameter selection is performed using a multi-variable iterative search routine which seeks to minimize the theoretical mean-squared estimation error. This paper derives theoretical Kalman filter estimation error bias and variance values at steady-state operating conditions, and presents the tuner selection routine applied to minimize these values. Results from the application of the technique to an aircraft engine simulation are presented and compared to the conventional approach of tuner selection. Experimental simulation results are found to be in agreement with theoretical predictions. The new methodology is shown to yield a significant improvement in on-line engine performance estimation accuracy.

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