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Materials & Manufacturing (MM) | Complex Systems Monitoring & Automation (csma)

PHM LogoThe Complex Systems Engineering & Monitoring Applications Engineering Department’s primary focus is on-platform health management technology development.  The expertise in this department includes: platform system analysis and modeling; health management system design and business case analysis; diagnostic, predictive and prognostic algorithm development; component and system fault test bed development; component and system failure analysis; condition based maintenance (CBM) technology assessment and Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)/Degrader/Failure Modes Effects and Criticality (FMECA) studies.  

Application Examples of Key Competencies:

  • CSMA ChartDegrader and Cost Benefit Analysis – The degrader analysis is an RCM based methodology that is used in the process to design and develop platform health monitoring systems (HMS).  This analysis was developed to determine the top degraders of platform availability, reliability and performance and identify opportunities for platform-based diagnostics and prognostics that would provide the greatest return on investment.  The general systematic approach to increasing vehicle reliability and reducing downtime starts with identifying the predominant degraders of platform operation and maintenance. Then identifying the dominant failure modes of the critical platform components and sensors and hardware required for diagnostics, predictive and prognostic capabilities.  The final step in the process is to apply the results of the analysis as an input to a business case model to determine the most cost effective design for a health management system.  Then the appropriate and most cost effective asset health monitoring technology can be acquired and/or developed and applied for the specific degraders.  
  • Diagnostic, Predictive and Prognostic Algorithm Development – The department has extensive experience in the development of diagnostic, predictive and prognostic algorithms for gears, bearings, shafts, power electronics, electric motors/generators/alternators, pumps, diesel engines, turbine engines, ground vehicle drive train systems, hydraulic systems, and batteries.  We have developed methodologies and tools to facilitate the algorithm development process.  An example of one of the tools is the CBM toolbox.

Diagnostics The CBM Toolbox is a unique software tool that provides a powerful capability to evaluate and develop optimum and highly effective health management system diagnostic, predictive and prognostic algorithms and techniques.  It combines the ability to automate the application of multiple fault detection algorithms to data, visualize both raw and process data, and apply comparative performance metrics to the processing results.  For example, the data in the Feature-Gram Output figure shows the results of applying the toolbox to analyze the effectiveness of a collection of gear diagnostic algorithms to a set of gearbox vibration data; the results show which algorithms offer the greatest potential for prognostic health monitoring.

Prototype Platform Health Management System –
A key contributor to achieving vehicle reliability and availability is the ability to conduct vehicle maintenance effectively and efficiently.  This becomes increasing difficult to accomplish with vehicles that have a high level of complexity to meet broad functionality requirements.  Conducting maintenance well is even more difficult to achieve with maintainers and operators who have limited experience with complex mechanical, hydraulic and electrical systems. Efficient and effective maintenance involves the capability to quickly and accurately detect, diagnose, and localize faults to critical line replaceable units (LRU).  It also involves providing replacement part information to the logistic system to expedite the acquisition of the correct LRU by the appropriate maintenance personnel. 

Prototype vehicle health management systems with diagnostic, predictive and prognostic capabilities have been developed for several platforms including tactical wheeled vehicles, ground combat systems, naval ship systems as well as fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft.  An example of a platform HMS is provided by the program conducted on the Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT).  The focus of this program was to integrate diagnostic and prognostic technologies into a HEMTT platform to provide a wealth of vehicle health information to operators and maintainers.  The technology provides the capability to more efficiently and effective manage a fleet of vehicles with the on-board capability to continuously monitor and assess the condition of critical components that contribute to vehicle reliability and availability.  View the movie (HEMTT Movie Link Here) for additional details.

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