A valuable asset for the improvement of aviation maintenance is the correct assessment of the aircraft systems health condition, for a more accurate planning and execution of maintenance routines. As such, the creation of a Prognostic and Health Management (PHM) system, supported by Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) can bring important benefits to the aeronautical field. The ultimate goal of a PHM system is the correct prediction of the Remaining Useful Lifetime (RUL) of a certain aircraft system, using the sensors data extracted during flights. Nevertheless, a relevant stage in the PHM pipeline concerns the estimation of the system condition, expressed by the Health Indicator (HI). The HI value reflects the health condition of a specific aircraft system, which can possibly be affected by degradation, failures or external conditions occurred during flight time. Henceforth, due to the relevancy of the HI assessment for the accuracy of the PHM model, this paper aims to propose a new formulation for the HI computation, derived from raw anonymized data retrieved from different sensors within the aircraft system. The proposed formulation combines information from the different variables (like sensors) that have an impact on the overall system condition, by assigning a positive or negative weight to each variable depending on the influence on the system behaviour. The weights are determined based on the typical and standard data patterns. Thus, the estimated HI aims to reflect the number of hours of flight expected to be flown, based only on raw data extracted from the system. Furthermore, considering that the available sensors data is anonymized, a study of the relevancy of the different sensors features for the degradation assessment is performed, using specific metrics. Considering a scenario where the HI ground truth is unknown, the failure data of each aircraft system is used to evaluate and discuss the formulation suitability. The HI formulation is applied in real datasets, on the environmental systems of two wide body aircraft types.
Health Indicator, Prognostic and Health Management, Aircraft Maintenance, Remaining Useful Lifetime, Condition Based Maintenance
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