There are many difficulties associated with the design and implementation of on-line Prognostic Health Management (PHM) systems, including the tardy specification of requirements late in the design cycle, insufficient or conflicting input from pertinent stakeholders, difficult or costly access to domain knowledge, degree of difficulty in validating and testing functionality, and an ill- specified and mostly uncoordinated process. A new methodology is needed that will pull together and coordinate all of the pertinent information obtained from the various system analyses, designers, manufacturers, maintainers, and users at the earliest stages of system design. The methodology should involve a step-by-step process for obtaining information from the various stages of design, and provide mechanisms for modifying design analyses in support of PHM system specification. Additionally, PHM software platforms are needed to facilitate the implementation of these requirements, assist in testing and determining the validity of failure detection and health assessment, and provide powerful model-based reasoning capability that correlates over historical data and across subsystems within an operational context. This paper discusses the issues related to designing and delivering PHM systems, recommends a design methodology that can better address these issues, and describes how the underlying PHM software platform can aid and assist such a methodology to lower the cost, reduce the time to deliver, and increase the quality of next generation PHM systems.
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