Skip to Main Content
Actuators are complex electro-hydraulic or mechanical mechanisms utilized in aircraft to drive flight control surfaces, landing gear, cargo doors, and weapon systems. Impact has developed a prognostic and health management (PHM) methodology for these critical systems that includes signal processing and neural network tracking techniques, along with automated reasoning, classification, knowledge fusion, and probabilistic failure mode progression algorithms. The processing utilizes the command/response signal and hydraulic pressure data from the actuators and provides a real-time assessment of the current/future actuator health state. This methodology was applied to F/A-18 stabilator electro-hydraulic servo valves (EHSVs) using test stand data provided by Boeing Phantom works. The automated module demonstrated excellent health state classification results. The prognosis was also successfully performed however no data was available to validate the prediction. These algorithms were developed with consideration to sensor/processing limitations for potential onboard implementation. Many of the PHM elements presented here could also be adapted for other actuator types and applications.