Formal verification of octorotor flight envelope using barrier functions and SMT solving

by   Byron Heersink, et al.

This paper introduces an approach for formally verifying the safety of the flight controller of an octorotor platform. Our method involves finding regions of the octorotor's state space that are considered safe, and which can be proven to be invariant with respect to the dynamics. Specifically, exponential barrier functions are used to construct candidate invariant regions near desired commanded states. The proof that these regions are invariant is discovered automatically using the dReal SMT solver, which ensures the accurate command tracking of the octorotor to within a certain margin of error. Rotor failures in which rotor thrusts become stuck at fixed values are considered and accounted for via a pseudo-inverse control allocator. The safety of the control allocator is verified in dReal by checking that the thrusts demanded by the allocator never exceed the capability of the rotors. We apply our approach on a specific octorotor example and verify the desired command tracking properties of the controller under normal conditions and various combinations of rotor failures.



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