Evaluation of Different PHM Strategies on the Performances of a Prognostic Framework for Electro-Hydraulic Actuators for Stability Control Augmentation Systems
Stability Control Augmentation Systems (SCAS) are widely adopted to enhance the flight stability of rotary-wing aircraft operating in difficult aerodynamic conditions, such as low altitude missions, stationary flight nearby vertical walls or in presence of heavy gusts. Such systems are based upon small electro-hydraulic servosystems controlled in position through a dedicated servovalve. The SCAS operates with limited authority over the main control linkage translating the pilot input in the movement of the main flight control actuator. Being critical for the operability of the helicopter, the definition of a Prognostics and Health Management (PHM) framework for the SCAS systems would provide significant advantages, such as better risk mitigation, improved availability, and a reduction in the occurrences of unpredicted failures which still represent one of the most known downsides of helicopters due to their very severe operational environment. Since SCAS actuators are usually equipped with a low number of sensors, it is at the present time unclear whether a fully realized PHM system can be prepared without resorting to the introduction of additional sensors. This paper deals with this subject evaluating the performances of a fault diagnosis tool operating considering different sensors suite (traditional and with additional sensors), and different PHM strategies, using in-flight data or their combination with dedicated pre-flight checks to cover the most common failure modes. The analysis is then completed with an evaluation of the prognostic capabilities of the proposed strategies, highlighting benefits and limitations of the proposed solutions.
How to Cite
PHM, Actuators, Hydraulic Actuators, Electro-Hydraulic Actuators, Flight controls, Helicopters, SCAS
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