The Environmental Control System (ECS) of an aircraft is responsible for regulating and conditioning the airflow into the cockpit, cabin and avionics bay. The ECS is composed of several complex sub-systems and components that are reported as key unscheduled maintenance drivers for legacy aircraft by aircraft operators. Furthermore, the incorporated temperature and flow control valves in these sub-systems have the capability to mask potential faults at the component level, making the diagnostic process very challenging. To overcome this challenge, the aviation industry is currently proactively exploring the predictive maintenance approach that allows real-time monitoring of the key systems, sub-systems and components. In the context of the ECS, this necessitates the requirement to equip the system with appropriate condition monitoring capabilities. To do this, the performance characteristics of the ECS at sub-system and component level needs to be well understood under a wide-range of aircraft operating scenarios. Existing literature provides component level and system level analyses of the ECS. However, it lacks an experimentally verified and validated ECS sub-system and component level simulation tool (ECS Digital Twin), capable of simulating the thermodynamic performance and component health state parameters under wide-ranging aircraft operational scenarios. The ECS Digital Twin (DT) developed by the Cranfield University IVHM Centre offers the capability to simulate healthy and faulty cases of the Passenger Air Conditioner (PACK). This paper proposes a methodology for full-scale experimental Verification & Validation (V&V) of the developed ECS DT, to enable component level simulation, and enabling accurate diagnostics, of the civil aircraft ECS. The paper reports on progress to date in this project.
How to Cite
Digital Twin, Verification and Validation, Condition Monitoring, Environmental Control System, IVHM
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