Electronic controls, propulsion system monitoring and health management and application of information technology to maintenance data capture and storage are enabling users to accumulate large amounts of reliability and related maintenance data. Effective analysis and exploitation of these data bases requires advanced tools to extract meaningful and actionable information. The challenges include “competing” failure modes and periodic hard time maintenance that “censors” information from impending failures, and a high number of failure modes that confound analysis. These factors impede accurate assessment of the impact of corrective action and different maintenance procedures on availability and maintenance costs. They confound understanding of the reliability of complex propulsion & power systems that would enable more representative modeling of system availability and maintenance costs for both existing and future applications. Tools providing more complete and accurate characterization of reliability information for complex systems are being developed for aerospace, nuclear and communications industries. These are surveyed and capability gaps identified with respect to commercial and military propulsion & power systems.

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