We present a fault tolerant control strategy based on a new principle for actuator fault diagnosis. The scheme employs a standard bank of observers which match the different fault situations that can occur in the plant. Each of these observers has an associated estimation error with distinctive dynamics when an estimator matches the current fault situation of the plant. Based on the information from each observer, a fault detection and isolation (FDI) module is able to reconfigure the control loop by selecting the appropriate control law from a bank of controllers, each of them designed to stabilise and achieve reference tracking for one of the given fault models. The main contribution of this article is to propose a new FDI principle which exploits the separation of sets that characterise healthy system operation from sets that characterise transitions from healthy to faulty behaviour. The new principle allows to provide pre-checkable conditions for guaranteed fault tolerance of the overall multi-controller scheme.
International Journal of Control Vol. 83, Issue 11, p. 2328-2339