Dutch researchers demonstrate new control techniques for preventing aircraft crashes

Nov 16, 2007

On Wednesday 21 November, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) will demonstrate how improved control techniques can reduce the risk of aircraft crashes. The demonstration involves reconstructing troubled flights – such as the El Al flight which crashed in the Bijlmer area of Amsterdam in 1992 – in a flight simulator and adding the newly developed technology.

The presentation in Delft forms the final phase of a research project involving the GARTEUR international research partnership (participants include TU Delft and the National Aerospace Laboratory NLR) into Fault Tolerant Control.

This involves techniques for keeping damaged aircraft in the air for longer and enabling continuing flight control. The key to this is to improve control techniques which enable the aircraft to continue to be controlled. The implemented improvements are based on the analysis of flight data from aviation accidents by the NLR. This has led to improved interpretation of the (defective) condition of the aircraft.

On Wednesday 21 November, these improved techniques will be demonstrated to the general public at TU Delft. A number of realistic accident scenarios will be taken as examples, including the Bijlmer crash. These will be reconstructed using TU Delft’s Simona flight simulator, but this time also using the newly-developed control techniques. Simulator experiments have shown that the new techniques make it easier for the pilot to land seriously-damaged aircraft safely.

Incidentally, the new techniques are only expected to be introduced in practice in the long term. The new improvements can largely be attributed to the greater calculation capacity of computers and further progress in the underlying mathematical theory of the past few years. According to TU Delft, both military and civil aviation parties are displaying great interest in these developments.

Source: Delft University of Technology

Explore further: Jennifer Pahlka, founder of Code for America, talks 'civic hacking'

Related Stories

'Dwarf planet' Ceres spawns giant mystery

13 minutes ago

First classified a planet, then an asteroid and then a "dwarf planet" with some traits of a moon—the more scientists learn about Ceres, the weirder it becomes.

Report says schools still shortchanging gifted kids

38 minutes ago

The report A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America's Brightest Students changed the conversation about academic acceleration in this country's schools when it was published 10 years ago.

Recommended for you

Germanwings crash could prompt remote override tech review

Apr 15, 2015

The head of Germany's air traffic control agency says the crash of a Germanwings jet in France last month raises the question of whether technology should be put in place allowing authorities on the ground to take control ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.