As the aviation industry evolves toward next-generation fly-by-wire vehicles, hydraulic
and electro-hydrostatic actuators (EHA) are being replaced with their electromechanical
counterparts. However, due to the inherent nature of electronic components
and systems to fail, methods and processes are required to reduce the incidence of
unnecessary scheduled and no fault found (NFF) replacements, which remain a major
problem both for airlines and Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) organisations.
Improved diagnostic and prognostic methods are an essential component in the drive to
reduce the cost of maintenance while keeping the all-electric aircraft safe. These
prognostic methods are equally relevant to land and sea vehicles which increasingly rely
on all electric actuator systems.
This paper presents an innovative approach to developing prognostic methods to assess the state of health (SoH), estimate remaining useful life (RUL), and support conditionbased maintenance (CBM) of avionic electro-mechanical actuator (EMA) systems. The technique involves the emulation of avionic EMA operation. Realistic load profiles can be applied to an EMA testbed while executing the in-flight actuator motion commands in real-time. The proposed EMA Emulator is designed to enable the insertion of degraded electronic components to analyze the servo loop response of an aged actuator system. That is, the EMA motion position data is acquired with various levels of power electronics degradation to populate a fault-to-failure progression (FFP) database of actuator servo loop response signatures. Ultimately, this FFP signature database is used to develop the required
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