Prognostics for condition-based maintenance does not only consist of prognostic algorithms but also involves steps such as data pre-processing, feature extraction, and feature selection, all of which contribute to the quality of the remaining useful life estimation. This process requires a lot of expertise and technical knowledge, which for many application systems is neither feasible nor affordable. In this paper, therefore, we present a generic framework with the capability to automatically choose the optimal settings for prognostics, given a specific data set. The framework consists of two phases. In the first one, a genetic algorithm optimizes the choice of methodologies together with hyperparameter settings for the feature extraction, feature selection, and prognostic algorithm selection. In the second phase, the identified settings define the prognostic setup, which in turn is used to train the model for remaining useful life estimation. This framework is then applied to a simulated aircraft engine data set. The first results show that remaining useful life estimates are comparable to the values obtained using established prognostic algorithms on the same data set. In addition, the framework is applied to estimate the remaining useful life of real aircraft systems. Results on underlying data sets suggest that the generic prognostic framework can easily and quickly be adapted to various systems. In further consequence, such a generic framework offers a way to assess the feasibility of prognostics for systems depending on the underlying existing data sets.
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prognostics, condition-based maintenance, genetic algorithms, generic framework, aircraft systems, remaining useful life
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