Prognostics for Ground Support Systems: Case Study on Pneumatic Valves

Shared by Matthew Daigle, updated on Feb 07, 2012


Author(s) :
Matthew Daigle, Kai Goebel

Prognostics technologies determine the health (or damage) state of a component or subsystem, and make end of life (EOL) and remaining useful life (RUL) predictions. Such information enables system operators to make informed maintenance decisions and streamline operational and mission-level activities. We develop a model-based prognostics methodology for pneumatic valves used in ground support equipment for cryogenic propellant loading operations. These valves are used to control the flow of propellant, so failures may have a significant impact on launch availability. Therefore, correctly predicting when valves will fail enables timely maintenance that avoids launch delays and aborts. The approach utilizes mathematical models describing the underlying physics of valve degradation, and, employing the particle filtering algorithm for joint state-parameter estimation, determines the health state of the valve and the rate of damage progression, from which EOL and RUL predictions are made. We develop a prototype user interface for valve prognostics, and demonstrate the prognostics approach using historical pneumatic valve data from the Space Shuttle refueling system.

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Publication Name
Proceedings of AIAA Infotech@Aerospace 2011 Conference
Publication Location
St. Louis, MO
Year Published



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