Robust performance comparison of PMSM for flight control applications in more electric aircraft

Djaloul Karboua, Toual Belgacem, Zeashan Hameed Khan*, Cherif Kellal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This paper describes a robust performance comparison of flight control actuation controllers based on a permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM) in more electric aircraft (MEA). Recently, the PMSM has become a favorite for the flight control applications of more electric aircraft (MEA) due to their improved efficiency, higher torque, less noise, and higher reliability as compared to their counterparts. Thus, advanced nonlinear control techniques offer even better performance for the control of PMSM as noticed in this research. In this paper, three nonlinear approaches i.e. Feedback Linearization Control (FBL) through the cancellation of the non-linearity of the system, the stabilization of the system via Backstepping Control (BSC) using the Lyapunov candidate function as well as the robust performance with chattering minimization by applying the continuous approximation based Sliding Mode Control (SMC) are compared with generalized Field-Oriented Controller (FOC). The comparison of FOC, FBL, BSC and SMC shows that the nonlinear controllers perform well under varying aerodynamic loads during flight. However, the performance of the sliding mode control is found superior as compared to the other three controllers in terms of better performance characteristics e.g. response time, steady-state error etc. as well as the control robustness in the presence of the uncertain parameters of the PMSM model and variable load torque acting as a disturbance. In essence, the peak of the tolerance band is less than 20% for all nonlinear and FOC controller, while it is less than 5% for SMC. Steady state error for the SMC is least (0.01%) as compared to other three controllers. Moreover, the SMC controller is able to withstand 50% parameter variation and loading torque of 10 N.m without significant changes in performance. Six simulation scenarios are used to analyze the performance and robustness which depict that the sliding mode controller performs well in terms of the desired performance for MEA application.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0283541
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7 July
StatePublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2023 Karboua et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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