T1: Integrated Prognostics and Health Management Technologies for UAS Resilience and Safety

Organizers and Presenters

George J. Vachtsevanos
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332


Kimon P. Valavanis
D. F. Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science
University of Denver, Denver, CO 80208

Tutorial Summary

This Tutorial presents a comprehensive discussion of methods, approaches, techniques, coupled with tools and support technologies for improved unmanned aircraft systems operational integrity, resiliency and safety under severe/extreme external and internal disturbances.

We currently witness an enormous proliferation of UAVs and their application to a variety of domains. Yet, significant challenges must be addressed and overcome if the aim is for the public, industry and government to accept and utilize such assets – concerns regarding resiliency, safety and security of flight are just sample challenges. UAVs place significant demands to human operators who are required to make informed decisions in (almost) hard real-time; UAS require significant computational resources for data and information processing.

To overcome existing challenges requires developing new and innovative methods and tools for integrated system health management, resilient design and operation of UAVs and swarms of UAVs (and unmanned assets in general), adaptive vehicle control, safety assurance and risk assessment and management, enabling complex systems to operate across a range of functional capabilities.

The underlying technology basis to develop and implement resilient and safe designs is adoption and utilization of fundamental concepts from the field of cognitive engineering, specifically reasoning, learning and adaptation. These attributes contribute significantly to the algorithmic developments of integrated health management of UAVs. Learning enabled tools and methods are essential to the establishment of a dynamic and continuously improving framework for autonomous functionality, reducing the operator workload, optimizing knowledge bases and expediting processing of large databases. Prognostics and Health Management (PHM) technologies have seen significant progress towards their development, validation and transitioning on-board the targeted systems. A toolset is presented focusing on rigorous and verifiable data mining, Condition Indicator (CI) extraction and selection, fault diagnosis and failure prognosis software, complemented with quantifiable risk, confidence and trust metrics. This rigorous framework has been applied successfully to various engineering processes and validated in extensive testing. It is implemented on-line in real-time requiring minimum computational resources.

Topics to be Covered

  • Integrated Vehicle Health Management (IVHM) practices for unmanned systems
    • Accurate and robust detection of incipient faults and failures occurring in critical components or sub-systems of the overall system; accurate estimation of the Remaining Useful Life (RUL) of such failing components or sub-systems.
  • UAV Structural and Functional Models. Why UAVs fail?
  • Diagnostic, Prognostic and Health Management (PHM)
    • Effective diagnostics with low false alarm rates; prognostics requirements based on generation of long-term predictions describing the evolution in time and over time of a specific signal of interest or condition indicator; feature extraction; estimation of the RUL of a failing component or sub-system; reconfigurable control; performance metrics.
  • Condition Based Maintenance (CBM)
  • Bayesian estimation techniques
  • Particle filtering (PF), Risk Sensitive Particle Filtering (RSPF)
  • UAV Technologies for Resiliency and Safety
  • UAV Swarms and PHM Applications
  • Assured and Trusted Autonomy Foundation
    • Metrics
    • Resilience
    • Intelligent Vehicle Health Management (IVHM) framework

Intended Audience

This Tutorial is suitable for graduate students, researchers, scientists and engineers, practitioners, end-users and developers interested in autonomous UAVs. The collective outcome of the Tutorial is an understanding of what autonomy entails, how UAV autonomy, robustness and resilience are measured through quantifiable metrics, and how through and integrity management framework UAV health is monitored and maintained.

Tutorial Material

Participants will receive detailed presentations and papers.