A computer model of a gas turbine auxiliary power unit was produced to develop techniques for fault diagnosis and prediction of remaining life in small gas turbine engines. Due to the relatively low capital cost of small engines it is important that the techniques have both low capital and operating costs.

Failing engine components were identified with fault maps, and an algorithm was developed for predicting the time to failure, based on the engine’s past operation. Simulating daily engine operation over a maintenance cycle tested the techniques for identification and prediction. The simulation included daily variations in ambient conditions, operating time, load, engine speed and operating environment, to determine the amount of degradation per day. The algorithm successfully adapted to the daily changes and corrected the operating point back to standard conditions to predict the time to failure.

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