Predictive Health Monitoring for Aircraft Systems using Decision Trees

Abstract: Unscheduled aircraft maintenance causes a lot problems and costs for aircraft operators. This is due to the fact that aircraft cause significant costs if flights have to be delayed or canceled and because spares are not always available at any place and sometimes have to be shipped across the world. Reducing the number of unscheduled maintenance is thus a great costs factor for aircraft operators. This thesis describes three methods for aircraft health monitoring and prediction; one method for system monitoring, one method for forecasting of time series and one method that combines the two other methods for one complete monitoring and prediction process. Together the three methods allow the forecasting of possible failures. The two base methods use decision trees for decision making in the processes and genetic optimization to improve the performance of the decision trees and to reduce the need for human interaction. Decision trees have the advantage that the generated code can be fast and easily processed, they can be altered by human experts without much work and they are readable by humans. The human readability and modification of the results is especially important to include special knowledge and to remove errors, which the automated code generation produced.