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Aircraft Electric System Intermittent Arc Fault Detection and Location

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Intermittent arc faults appear in aircraft power systems in unpredictable manners when the degraded wires are wet, vibrating against metal structures, or under mechanical stresses, etc. They could evolve into serious faults that may cause on-board fires, power interruptions, system damage and catastrophic incidents, and thus have raised much concern. Recent trends in solid state power controllers (SSPCs) motivated the development of non-destructive diagnostic methods for health monitoring of aircraft wiring. In this paper, the ABCD matrix (or transmission matrix) modeling method is introduced to derive normal and faulty load circuit models with better accuracy and reduced complexity compared to the differential equation approach, and an intermittent arc fault detection method is proposed based on temporary deviations of load circuit model coefficients and wiring parameters. Furthermore, based on the faulty wiring model, a genetic algorithm (GA) is proposed to estimate the fault-related wiring parameters such as intermittent arc location and average intermittent arc resistance. The proposed method can be applied to both the alternating current (AC) power distribution system (PDS) and direct current (DC) PDS. Experiments using a DC power source have been conducted, and the experimental results have demonstrated effectiveness of the proposed method.

A. Yaramasu

Field of Interest

“The field of interest shall be the organization, systems engineering, design, development, integration, and operation of complex systems for space, air, ocean, or ground environments. These systems include but are not limited to navigation, avionics, mobile electric power and electronics, radar, sonar, telemetry, military, law-enforcement, automatic test, simulators, and command and control."


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