Windings fault detection and prognosis in electro-mechanical flight control actuators operating in active-active configuration

Andrea De Martin, Giovanni Jacazio, and George Vachtsevanos
Publication Target: 
Publication Issue: 
Submission Type: 
Full Paper
ijphm_17_017.pdf1.02 MBSeptember 29, 2017 - 5:24am

One of the most significant research trends in the last decades of the aeronautic industry is the effort to move towards the production of “more electric aircraft”. Within this framework, the application of the electrical technology to flight control systems has seen a progressive, although slow, increase: starting with the introduction of fly-by-wire and proceeding with the partial replacement of the traditional hydraulic/electro-hydraulic actuators with purely electro-mechanical ones. This evolution allowed to obtain more flexible solutions, reduced installation issues and enhanced aircraft control capability. Electro-Mechanical Actuators (EMAs) are however far from being a mature technology and still suffer from several safety issues, which can be partially limited by increasing the complexity of their design and hence their production costs. The development of a robust Prognostics and Health Management (PHM) system could provide a way to prevent the occurrence of a critical failure without resorting to complex device design. This paper deals with the first part of the study of a comprehensive PHM system for EMAs employed as primary flight control actuators; the peculiarities of the application are presented and discussed, while a novel approach, based on short pre-flight/post-flight health monitoring tests, is proposed. Turn-to-turn shorts in the electric motor windings is identified as the most common electrical degradation and a particle filtering framework for anomaly detection and prognosis featuring a self-tuning non-linear model is proposed. Features, anomaly detection and a prognostic algorithm are hence evaluated through state-of-the art performance metrics and their results discussed.

Publication Year: 
Publication Volume: 
Publication Control Number: 
Page Count: 
Submission Keywords: 
flight control system; EMA; Anomaly Detection; Failure Prognosis; Particle Filtering;
Submission Topic Areas: 
Data-driven methods for fault detection, diagnosis, and prognosis
Submitted by: 

follow us

PHM Society on Facebook Follow PHM Society on Twitter PHM Society on LinkedIn PHM Society RSS News Feed