Worst-case disturbances for time-varying systems with application to flexible aircraft Articles uri icon

publication date

  • June 2019

start page

  • 1261

end page

  • 1271


  • 6


  • 42

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0731-5090

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1533-3884


  • The aim of this Paper is to propose a method for constructing worst-case disturbances to analyze the performance of linear time-varying systems on a finite time horizon. This is primarily motivated by the goal of analyzing flexible aircraft, which are more realistically described as time-varying systems, but the same framework can be applied to other fields in which this feature is relevant. The performance is defined by means of a generic quadratic cost function, and the main result consists of a numerical algorithm to compute the worst-case signal verifying that a given performance objective is not achieved. The developed algorithm employs the solution to a Riccati differential equation associated with the cost function. Theoretically, the signal can also be obtained by simulating the related Hamiltonian dynamics, but this does not represent a numerically reliable strategy, as commented in the Paper. The applicability of the approach is demonstrated with a case study consisting of a flexible aircraft subject to gust during a flight-test maneuver.


  • Aeronautics


  • aircrafts; hamiltonian dynamics; flight testing; numerical algorithms; linear time invariant; control surfaces; aircraft maneuvers; angle of attack; computing; flight envelope