Aircraft electric system intermittent arc fault detection and location


Intermittent arc faults appear in aircraft power systems in unpredictable ways in which when the degraded wires are wet, vibrating against metal structures, or below mechanical stresses. They may evolve into serious faults that may cause onboard fires, power interruptions, system injury and catastrophic incidents, and therefore have raised concern. Recent trends in solid state power controllers (SSPCs) motivated the development of nondestructive diagnostic strategies for health monitoring of aircraft wiring. During this paper, the ABCD matrix (or transmission matrix) modeling methodology is introduced to derive traditional and faulty load circuit models with higher accuracy and reduced complexity compared to the differential equation approach, and an intermittent arc fault detection technique is proposed based on temporary deviations of load circuit model coefficients and wiring parameters. Furthermore, based mostly on the faulty wiring model, a genetic algorithm is proposed to estimate the fault-related wiring parameters such as intermittent arc location and average intermittent arc resistance. The proposed technique can be applied to both the alternating current power distribution system (PDS) and therefore the direct current (DC) PDS. Experiments employing a DC power supply are conducted, and therefore the experimental results have demonstrated effectiveness of the proposed methodology.

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