Developing the ability for a system to self-monitor its condition is a desirable feature in many modern engineering systems. This capability facilitates a maintenance-as-needed rather than a maintenance-as-scheduled paradigm, offering potential efficiency improvements and corresponding cost savings. By using continuously updated Non-Uniform Rational B-spline (NURBs) metamodels of system performance to monitor the system condition, the onset of incipient faults can be detected by comparison to a self-generated as-built system metamodel, providing a basis for determining off-normal operating conditions. This capability is demonstrated for three distinct fault conditions prevalent in brushless DC motors. The results show that this technique can be used to develop an as-built system metamodel, develop a current system model during system operation, and detect the presence of an incipient fault condition despite the compensation provided by a feedback control system.

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