Current methods of functional failure risk analysis do not facilitate explicit modeling of systems equipped with Prognostics and Health Management (PHM) hardware. As PHM systems continue to grow in application and popularity within major complex systems industries (e.g. aerospace, automotive, civilian nuclear power plants), implementation of PHM modeling within the functional failure modeling methodologies will become useful for the early phases of complex system design and for analysis of existing complex systems. Functional failure modeling methods have been developed in recent years to assess risk in the early phases of complex system design. However, the methods of functional modeling have yet to include an explicit method for analyzing the effects of PHM systems on system failure probabilities. It is common practice within the systems health monitoring industry to design the PHM subsystems during the later stages of system design — typically after most major system architecture decisions have been made. This practice lends itself to the omission of considering PHM effects on the system during the early stages of design. This paper proposes a new method for analyzing PHM subsystems’ contribution to risk reduction in the early stages of complex system design. The Prognostic Systems Variable Configuration Comparison (PSVCC) eight-step method developed here expands upon existing methods of functional failure modeling by explicitly representing PHM subsystems. A generic pressurized water nuclear reactor primary coolant loop system is presented as a case study to illustrate the proposed method. The success of the proposed method promises more accurate modeling of complex systems equipped with PHM subsystems in the early phases of design.

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