The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how to develop a methodology to set up an initial maintenance program for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) following the well-known Steering Maintenance Group logic method (MSG-3) and taking into account safety concerns based on items probabilities of failure. That is why it is stated that maintenance program is based on reliability principles.
The proposed methodology follows the MSG-3 framework applied to civil aircraft but where the determination of each probability of failure is achieved applying a morphological analysis. These probabilities are then affected by some factors to calculate the adjusted values to the specific conditions (design, operation and environment) under which the system is expected to operate.
Main findings are related to the applicability of the morphological analysis on the developing of an initial maintenance program when there is a lack of data that disable the establishment of a coherent maintenance program.
Limitations are related to the absence of a legislative framework consensual in Europe for certification of UAVs and the lack of data concerning UAVs failure modes, causes and their probability of failure.
The developed work and the methodology proposed may be useful for UAVs maintenance program engineers and technicians when developing new systems.
The originality is based on the use of morphological analysis for UAVs to determine the items probabilities of failure when there is a no-data problem. Based on the referred analysis, it is possible to create an initial maintenance program for UAVs.
Gonçalves, P., Sobral, J. and Ferreira, L. (2017), "Establishment of an initial maintenance program for UAVs based on reliability principles", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 89 No. 1, pp. 66-75. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEAT-09-2014-0146Download as .RIS
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