Prognostics and health management (PHM) is becoming one of the most popular topics for research and development in the aviation industry. The reasons for this are varied, but one of the main ones is that PHM affords the operator with a way to reduce lifecycle operating costs without necessarily adding expensive accessories that might need to be certified. Many of the papers in this special issue discuss PHM techniques that are based on post flight, or off-board, data processing that adds benefits without additional regulatory constraints. On the other hand, regulators themselves are keenly looking at changing regulations to allow more PHM equipment on board and to allow suppliers and operators to gain maintenance credits from their use. All in all, it is a exciting time to be a engineering working on these topics in the aviation sector. While progress is being made in developing better sensors, models, and analytical methods, the field of aviation itself is changing rapidly. It is seeking to become more sustainable by increasing propulsion efficiencies, it has many players looking to develop and commercialize electrical systems, and it is fast undertaking a digital transformation of the entire ecosystem. In response, system developers and researchers in the field are working on a number of key technologies and methodologies to solve some of the issues that these changes have wrought. This special issue on PHM for Aerospace Systems provides a forum to discuss recent advances pertaining to papers that address topics in this field with an emphasis on Prognostics and Health Management.
These topics include advances in anomaly detection and diagnostics, uncertainty management for prognostics, resilient design for fault-tolerant operations, systematic evaluation of PHM for maintenance processes, assessment of retrofit solutions for particular aircraft systems, PHM informed decision-making for safe operations of autonomous aerial systems, impact of noise on prognostic performance, and lessons learned from trends in aircraft fatigue failure accidents for Structural Health Monitoring.
We hope that this special joint issue of the International Journal of PHM and SAE International Journal of Aerospace will increase the awareness about innovations in the development of PHM technologies in aerospace and believe that this inspires researchers to focus more attention on this important topic. We would like to express our sincere thanks to all the reviewers of this issue who have generously contributed their valuable time and effort to ensure that it lives up to the Journal’s high quality.
PHM, Aerospace Systems