Dual Use IVHM for UAS Health Management 2013-01-2202
UAS (Unmanned aircraft system), widely known to the general public as drones, are comprised of two major system elements: an Unmanned Aircraft (UA) and a Ground Control Station (GCS). UAS have a high mishap rate when compared to manned aircraft. This high mishap rate is one of several barriers to the acceptance of UAS for more widespread usage.
Better awareness of the UA real time as well as long term health situation may allow timely condition based maintenance. Vehicle health and usage are two parts of the same solution to improve vehicle safety and lifecycle costs. These can be worked on through the use of two related aircraft management methods, these are: IVHM (Integrated Vehicle Health Management) which combines diagnosis and prognosis methods to help manage aircraft health and maintenance, and FOQA (Flight Operations Quality Assurance) systems which are mainly used to assist in pilot skill quality assurance.
However, the addition of IVHM and FOQA systems to a UA, no matter how valuable, will face tight requirements on their weight, volume, and power consumption. In this environment, the dual use of aircraft sensors for control and IVHM/FOQA will remove the need to install a completely separate system. The paper explores the concept of dual use, its features and some experiments to start to examine this new method of combining Control, IVHM, & FOQA.