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Hovakimyan’s flight control is ready “to fly”


Photo: University of Illinois


Yerevan /Mediamax/. Director for Intelligent Robotics Lab at University of Illinois Naira Hovakimyan is poised to enter into an unprecedented third round of flight tests using her L1 adaptive control system.

Hovakimyan’s L1 adaptive control is a novel theory she and her research team have been developing since 2005.

The goal of the pioneering L1 system is to maintain aircraft performance and maneuverability even in the presence of severe failures—ultimately increasing aircraft safety, resilience to critical failures, and ease of operation for human pilots, as well as autopilots, in extreme conditions.

Hovakimyan and her team’s goal is for aircraft manufacturers to explore control architectures that can prevent aircraft accidents under the most extreme situations. This third round of testing pushes the L1 technology ever closer towards commercialization.


In early March, L1 will undergo more advanced testing in a project called Advanced L1 Airborne Superiority (ALIAS). Recovery of strict military requirements regarding safety and performance of flight control systems in the presence of failures will be the primary focus. 
ALIAS will demonstrate its adherence to Level 1 military specifications—the strictest requirements for a flight control system of this type—as well as pilot feedback and suggestions.

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“L1 adaptive control has overcome some of the major limitations of conventional adaptive control systems, by providing predictablerobustness guarantees in the presence of a large class of uncertainties. Its features have been validated in a variety of applications and challenging flight tests, leading to commercialization opportunities across a few industries,” Naira Hovakimyan said.

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