A Novel Flight Dynamics Modeling Using Robust Support Vector Regression against Adversarial Attacks

Authors Abstract
An accurate Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Flight Dynamics Model (FDM) allows us to design its efficient controller in early development phases and to increase safety while reducing costs. Flight tests are normally conducted for a pre-established number of flight conditions, and then mathematical methods are used to obtain the FDM for the entire flight envelope. For our UAS-S4 Ehecatl, 216 local FDMs corresponding to different flight conditions were utilized to create its Local Linear Scheduled Flight Dynamics Model (LLS-FDM). The initial flight envelope data containing 216 local FDMs was further augmented using interpolation and extrapolation methodologies, thus increasing the number of trimmed local FDMs of up to 3,642. Relying on this augmented dataset, the Support Vector Machine (SVM) methodology was used as a benchmarking regression algorithm due to its excellent performance when training samples could not be separated linearly. The trained Support Vector Regression (SVR) predicted the FDM for the entire flight envelope. Although the SVR-FDM showed excellent performance, it remained vulnerable to adversarial attacks. Hence, we modified it using an adversarial retraining defense algorithm by transforming it into a Robust SVR-FDM. For validation studies, the quality of predicted UAS-S4 FDM was evaluated based on the Root Locus diagram. The closeness of predicted eigenvalues to the original eigenvalues confirmed the high accuracy of the UAS-S4 SVR-FDM. The SVR prediction accuracy was evaluated at 216 flight conditions, for different numbers of neighbors, and a variety of kernel functions were also considered. In addition, the regression performance was analyzed based on the step response of state variables in the closed-loop control architecture. The SVR-FDM provided the shortest rise time and settling time, but it failed when adversarial attacks were imposed on the SVR. The Robust-SVR-FDM step response properties showed that it could provide more accurate results than the LLS-FDM approach while protecting the controller from adversarial attacks.
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Hashemi, S., and Botez, R., "A Novel Flight Dynamics Modeling Using Robust Support Vector Regression against Adversarial Attacks," SAE Int. J. Aerosp. 16(3):305-323, 2023, https://doi.org/10.4271/01-16-03-0019.
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Mar 24, 2023
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Journal Article