A dynamical systems approach to failure prognosis

David Chelidze, Joseph P. Cusumano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


In this paper, a previously published damage tracking method is extended to provide failure prognosis, and applied experimentally to an electromechanical system with a failing supply battery. The method is based on a dynamical systems approach to the problem of damage evolution. In this approach, damage processes are viewed as occurring in a hierarchical dynamical system consisting of a "fast," directly observable subsystem coupled to a "slow," hidden subsystem describing damage evolution. Damage tracking is achieved using a two-time-scale modeling strategy based on phase space reconstruction. Using the reconstructed phase space of the reference (undamaged) system, short-time predictive models are constructed. Fast-time data from later stages of damage evolution of a given system are collected and used to estimate a tracking function by calculating the short time reference model prediction error. In this paper the tracking metric based on these estimates is used as an input to a nonlinear recursive filter, the output of which provides continuous refined estimates of the current damage (or, equivalently, health) state. Estimates of remaining useful life (or, equivalently, time to failure) are obtained recursively using the current damage state estimates under the assumption of a particular damage evolution model. The method is experimentally demonstrated using an electromechanical system, in which mechanical vibrations of a cantilever beam are dynamically coupled to electrical oscillations in an electromagnet circuit. Discharge of a battery powering the electromagnet (the "damage" process in this case) is tracked using strain gauge measurements from the beam. The method is shown to accurately estimate both the battery state and the time to failure throughout virtually the entire experiment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-8
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Vibration and Acoustics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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