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Spacecraft Thrusters Diagnosis with Vertices

Principal Component Analysis: Application to the


Rendez-vous Phase of the Mars Sample Return
Mission
Imen GUEDDI
LARATSI Lab
National Engineering School of Monastir
University of Monastir
Monastir Ibn El Jazzar 5019, Tunisia
Email: imen.gueddi@gmail.com
Othman NASRI
SAGE Lab
National Engineering School of Sousse
University of Sousse
BP 264 Sousse Erriadh 4023, Tunisia
Email: othman.nasri@eniso.rnu.tn
Kamel BENOTHMAN
LARATSI Lab
National Engineering School of Monastir
University of Monastir
Monastir Ibn El Jazzar 5019, Tunisia
kamelbenothman@yahoo.fr
Philippe DAGUE
LRI Lab
University of Paris-Sud 11
CNRS & INRIA Saclay

Ile de France
Bt 650, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France
philippe.dague@lri.fr
AbstractThis paper presents a fault diagnosis system of
the chaser thrusters used during the rendez-vous phase of the
Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission. The Vertices Principal
Component Analysis (VPCA) has been adopted as an extension
method of the classical principal component analysis for interval
valued data. The VPCA has been used to estimate the relation-
ships between the various variables of the process. To ensure
the feasibility of the proposed FDI approach, a set of interval
valued data provided by the industrial high-delity simulator
of the MSR and representing the opening rates of the spacecraft
thrusters has been considered. The test results demonstrate that
the fault detection and isolation are successfully accomplished.
I. INTRODUCTION
In many industries, the good supervision and the au-
tonomous control are required for increasing their performance
specially toward increasing complexity and automation.
Accordingly, achieving safe and reliable operation for many
complex systems now requires fast and accurate methods for
detecting and diagnosing faults on the basis of process mea-
surements. This is particularly desired for aerospace systems.
Actually, aerospace is considered as the most critical area
of applications. Thus, autonomous spacecrafts have become a
key technology for increasing their survival capability. Various
researchers have developed diagnosis systems to detect and
isolate faults that can appear in a spacecraft [1], [2], [3], [4].
In fact, these diagnosis systems are mostly based on the
redundancy concept; hardware and analytical redundancy. The
rst one can be seen as a very expensive and a complex
approach. while the second one can be based, either, on a
mathematical model or on a model-free method that usually
does not require a detailed knowledge of the system. [5], [6],
[7]. Since nding the appropriate mathematical model for some
real complex system can be difcult or sometimes impossible.
The solution is, then, to use the analytical redundancy based
on a model-free method like the Principal Component Analysis
(PCA).
The (PCA) approach has been, recently, applied success-
fully in the monitoring and the diagnosis of many complex
systems [8], [9], [10], [11]. In fact, this approach includes a
nominal PCA model for normal operation conditions and a
PCA model for each faulty situation. A simple comparison
between the two models allows the generation of the residual
signals. The signal that does not exceed its threshold can
identify faults and the actual system situation.
The only remaining problem is that the standard diagnosis
methods have been mainly developed for the analysis of single
valued variables. However, in real life this type of data is the
result of a simplication that may, in many situations, cause
severe loss of information.
Vertices Principal Component Analysis (V PCA), and
Centers Principal Component Analysis (CPCA) are consid-
ered as the most common approaches that generalize Principal
Component Analysis (PCA) to interval valued data [12], [13],
[14].
In this paper, we will present a diagnosis approach for
spacecrafts thrusters based on the VPCA technique. In fact,
this same problem has been treated using the classical principal
component analysis method [4]. Since this approach is based
on single valued data witch eliminate to take into consideration
any possible uncertainty, as a solution, we have chosen to apply
the VPCA method as an extension of the classical PCA to
intervals valued data.
The paper is organized as follows. In section II, the VPCA
technique is presented. In section III, the fault detection and
isolation method based on the VPCA approach is introduced.
The Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission is described in
section IV, with the results of thrusters fault detection and
isolation with the V PCA method. Conclusions and future
developments are presented in the last section.
II. VERTICES PRINCIPAL COMPONENTS ANALYSIS:
VPCA
The Vertices Principal Component Analysis (V PCA) was
rst proposed by Chouakria. [14]. This approach consists in
performing a classical PCA on the vertices matrix.
Considering the interval data matrix X
I
,
X
I
= [X
1
, X
2
, . . . , X
N
]
T
R
(Nm)
with N observation
units characterized by m interval valued variables recorded on
the system under normal operation.
At an instant time k,
X
k
= ([x
1
(k), x
1
(k)], . . . , [x
m
(k), x
m
(k)])
T
(1)
with k = 1, . . . , N.
Each given observation, described with m interval valued
variables, can be represented as a hyperrectangle in R
m
with
2
m
vertices. For N observation the total number of vertices is
then N 2
m
.
The rst step of this method is to replace the interval valued
matrix X
I
(represented by eqution 2) by a single valued one
X
H
(represented by equation 3) with N 2
m
rows and m
columns.
X
I
=
_
_
_
_
_
_
x
1
(1), x
1
(1)
_

_
x
m
(1), x
m
(1)
_
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
_
x
1
(N), x
1
(N)
_

_
x
m
(N), x
m
(N)
_
_
_
_
_
_
(2)
X
H
=
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_

_
x
1
(1) x
m
(1)
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
x
1
(1) x
m
(1)
_

_
.
.
.
_

_
x
1
(N) x
m
(N)
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
x
1
(N) x
m
(N)
_

_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
(3)
Considering an example with 2 interval valued variables
and N observations. The interval data is given by:
X
I
=
_
_
_
_
_
_
x
1
(1), x
1
(k)
_ _
x
2
(1), x
2
(1)
_
.
.
.
.
.
.
_
x
1
(N), x
1
(N)
_ _
x
2
(N), x
2
(N)
_
_
_
_
_
_
:
:
N
N
N N
Fig. 1. Hypercube representation in a 2-dimensional space
Considering one observation, the corresponding space rep-
resentation is given by the rectangle in gure 1.
In an n-dimensional space, an hypercube can be described
with a matrix of 2
n
rows and n columns where the i
th
row
corresponds to the coordinates of the i
th
vertex.
According to this example, the interval data can be de-
scribed as:
X
H
=
_
_
_
_
_
x
1
x
2
x
1
x
2
x
1
x
2
x
1
x
2
_
_
_
_
_
Once the interval valued data matrix is transformed into a
single valued one, it is possible to apply the standard PCA.
A. The standard PCA
The PCA is considered as a very effective statistical
method in extracting information from the measured data [15],
[16]. Considering the data matrix X,
X = [x(1), x(2), . . . , x(N)]
T
R
(Nm)
gathering N sam-
ples of m observed variables recorded on the system under
normal operation.
At an instant time k,
x(k) = [x
1
(k), x
2
(k), . . . , x
m
(k)]
T
(4)
with k = 1, . . . , N.
The linear transformation of the data matrix X into a new
set of variables T is then given by:
T = XP and X = PT
T
(5)
where: T = [t
1
, t
2
, . . . , t
m
] R
(Nm)
and P =
[p
1
, p
1
, . . . , p
m
] R
(mm)
is the matrix of the eigenvectors
(called also principal vectors) associated with the eigenvalues
of the covariance matrix :
=
1
N
X
T
X (6)
The right choice of the number of principal components to
retain is a very important step in the process of developing a
PCA model. Several methods are to be adopted to determine
the required number (l) of principal components [17].
In this paper, two methods were exploited. The rst one
is based on minimizing the Variance of the Reconstruction
Error (V RE) [18]. The second one is based on maximizing
the Cumulative Percent of Variance (CPV ) [17]. In fact the
CPV method measures the percent variance captured by the
rst l principal components. A balance between retaining as
few principal components as possible and providing as much
of variance as possible is the key to an appropriate choice of
l.
Once l is xed, the number of used data is then reduced
to the rst l (l < m) variables which are the most signicant
components. The data and the two matrices T and P can be
partitioned into a principal part and a residual one:
T = [

T
[Nl]

T
[N(ml)]
] (7)
P = [

P
[ml]

P
[m(ml)]
] (8)
The data matrix can be partitioned as follows:
X =

P

T
T
+

P

T
T
=

X +

X (9)
where

X is the principal part of the data composed of the
rst l eigenvectors, while

X is the residual part of the data
composed of the remaining components.

X =

CX ;

X =

CX (10)
with

C =

P

P
T
and

C =

P

P
T
= (I
m


C), which are the
two vectors that form the PCA model.
B. The VPCA algorithm
Considering X
I
(see equation 2) the interval valued data
matrix.
1. For each sample k, describe for each X
k
the corresponding
single valued matrix X
H
k
composed of 2
m
rows and
m columns which elements are the coordinates of the
associated hypercubes vertices.
2. Construct the single valued matrix X
H
(see equation 3)
composed of N 2
m
rows and m columns and gathering
the N X
H
k
matrices.
3. Apply the standard PCA on X
H
(see equation 3). Let
T
1
, , T
l
(l m) be the l rst single valued principal
components (PC
S
).
4. Calculate the interval valued principal components (PC
I
)
T
I
1
, , T
I
l
. Let R
X
k
be the number of rows in X
H
associated with the k
th
observation X
k
and t
ij
, i R
X
k
be
the j
th
PC
S
associated with X
k
corresponding to the j
th
row of X
H
. The PC
I
j
corresponding to the k
th
observation
can be then represented by equation 11:
t
I
X
kj
=
_
t
kj
, t
kj

(11)
where:
t
kj
= min
iR
X
k
(t
ij
)
t
kj
= max
iR
X
k
(t
ij
)
Algorithm 1 summarizes the different steps of the VPCA
method. X
I
denotes the interval valued data matrix, m the
number of variables, N the number of observations, l the
retained number of principal components, PCs
S
and PCs
I
represent, respectively, the single and the interval valued
principal components.
Algorithm 1: VPCA generalized algorithm
Inputs : X
I
, m, N.
Outputs: l, PCs
S
, PCs
I
.
1 for (k = 1 to N) do
2 Calculate X
H
k
.
3 end
4 Reconstruct X
H
.
5 Apply PCA(X
H
).
6 Determine l.
7 Calculate PCs
S
.
8 Calculate PCs
I
.
III. FAULT DIAGNOSIS USING VPCA
A. Fault detection
Once the principal components are calculated, it is possible
to proceed to the fault detection step. Several indexes are used
to represent any variations in the data and thereby to detect
faults [9], [19]. We will then explain the process of fault
detection using the Squared Prediction Error (SPE) index that
operates in the residual subspace.
Since the SPE index operates in the residual subspace, then,
rst, it is necessary to determine PCs number for a system with
m variables and N 2
m
observations. Once the number of
required PCs l is chosen, the principal component matrix can
be then partitioned into the principal and the residual parts as
shown in equation 7:
At an instant time k

= k 2
m
, k

= 1, . . . , N 2
m
, the
SPE is given by equation 12:
SPE(k

) =
m

j=l+1

t
I
2
j
(k

) (12)
The system is declared in failure at an instant k

if;
SPE(k

)
2

(13)
where
2

is the threshold proper to the SPE index calculated


according to [20].
B. Fault isolation
After achieving the fault detection step, it is necessary
to identify and isolate the faulty variables. Among various
strategies of fault localization we have chosen the variable re-
construction approach. This method assumes that each variable
is faulty and suggests to reconstruct it using the VPCA model
from the remaining variables [19], [21].
Let
R
be the matrix indicating the reconstruction di-
rection. It is built with 1 and 0 indicating respectively the
reconstructed variables from the non reconstructed ones.
At an instant k

, a reconstructed variable is given by


equation 14:

X
R
(k

) = G
R
x(k

) (14)
with:
G
R
= I
m

R
(

T
R

R
)
1

T
R
(15)
Fig. 2. The MSR mission
(a) (b)
Fig. 3. (a): The MSR spacecraft, (b): The spacecrafts thrusters

R
= (I
m


C)
R
(16)
The residual vector can be dened by equation 17:

X
R
(k) = (I
m


C)

X
R
(k) = P
R
x(k) (17)
with:
P
R
= (I
m


C)

R
(

T
R

R
)
1

T
R
(18)
In order to isolate the faulty variable, the SPE index may be
computed by equation 19:
spe
R
(k

) = x
R
(k

)
T


P

P
T
x
R
(k

) (19)
The isolation index is then dened, by equation 20:
A
spe
R
(k

) =
spe
R
(k

)
(
2

(k

))
(20)
where R = 1, . . . , m corresponding to the reconstructed
variable and
2

is the spe
R
threshold. The variable for which
the isolation index is lower than one is declared faulty.
IV. APPLICATION
A. Mars Sample Return Mission
The MSR mission, as represented in gure 2, plans col-
lecting samples from Mars and then returning to earth. The
diagnosis process concerns only the 5
th
step of this mission.
This step is called the rendez-vous. Only the last 100 meters
of the rendez-vous/capture phase are considered the most
critical for the occurrence of failures.
In this phase, in order to control the orientation of the
chaser spacecraft (see gure 3.a), a Laser Image Detection
And Ranging (LIDAR) and a Radio Frequency Sensor (RFS)
are used. As the Orbiter Sample (OS) must remain in the eld
of vision of the Orbiter Module (OM) sensors, the difculty
will be in controlling the attitude, the movement and the two
axes describing the motion relative to the orbital plane.
Thrusters (gure 3.b) are considered as the most important
features of the propulsion system assuring the attitude control
of the spacecraft. These propulsive devices are capable of
generating a thrust (force) to control the attitude and a torque
to control the rotation (about the three axes of the spacecraft:
roll, pitch and yaw). To provide the system stabilization, the
thrusters must be placed about all three axes with at least two
thrusters in each one.
Therefore, the failure of one or more thrusters can cause
a spacecraft to lose its ability to maintain position and hence
potentially causing a mission failure. So, the objective of this
application is to detect and isolate the thrusters faults of the
MSR chaser spacecraft, considering that the propulsion system
0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
(time)
[
X
1
]


X
1,2
1
X
1,1
1
0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
(time)
[
X
2
]
X
1,1
2
X
1,2
2
0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
(time)
[
X
3
]
X
1,2
3
X
1,1
3
0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
(time)
[
X
4
]
X
1,2
4
X
1,1
4
0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
(time)
[
X
5
]
X
1,1
5
X
1,2
5
0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
(time)
[
X
6
]
X
1,1
6
X
1,2
6
0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
(time)
[
X
7
]
X
1,2
7
X
1,1
7
0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
(time)
[
X
8
]
X
1,2
8
X
1,1
8
Fig. 4. Thrusters measurment evolution, [X
1,1
] (blue) and [X
2,1
] (red)
is composed of 8 thrusters.
The fault diagnosis process of the spacecrafts thrusters
requires two sets of data, one to build the PCA model and
another to test the inuence of a fault in the residual and/or
the principal space.
B. VPCA Model
To build the VPCA model, two data matrices X
min

R
(Nm)
and X
max
R
(Nm)
, in the absence of faults in the
system, has been generated. These two matrices are the two
bounds of the general interval data matrix X
I
= [X].To test
the effectiveness of the fault detection and isolation method,
described previously, two types of faults have been considered.
1) fault1 in the rst thruster between 200s and 210s,
2) fault2 in the second thruster between 400s and 410s.
In this case study we consider [X
1,1
] and [X
2,1
], denoting
the interval valued data matrix in the presence of fault1 and
fault2 respectively, where N = 13514 is the number of
observations of the m = 8 chasers thrusters. The measurement
vectors represent the opening rate at a k time of the 8 thrusters.
Figure 4 represents the evolution of the measurement
vectors during an abnormal operating mode of the 8 nominal
thrusters. The simulation results conrm the presence of faults
in the spacecrafts thrusters.
Once the data matrix in the absence of faults is scaled
(using mean and standard deviations of the variables), the
VPCA model can be then built.
According to the V RE method the appropriate number of
PCs is l = 5 while with the CPV approach with l = 4 it
is possible to account for 99.99% of variance. Since the rst
aim of the principal component analysis is to reduce the data
representation space, we have adopted a system with l = 4
components.
C. Fault detection and isolation
Once the modeling phase is achieved, we will present the
fault detection and isolation results.
As explained previously, two faults in two different time
zones have been injected to the spacecrafts thrusters.
Figure 5 presents the evolution of the SPE detection index
applied on the thrusters measurement vector.
where:
SPE-Fault1 (blue curve) refers to the results of the
SPE detection index after the injection of the rst fault,
SPE-Fault2 (green curve) refers to the results of the
SPE detection index after the injection of the second
fault,
SPE-Threshold (red line) refers to the SPE indexs
threshold.
The simulation results in gure 5 show two principal
peaks exceeding the SPE threshold. Thus, two failures in the
thrusters may be considered. As explained, the VPCA method
consists on transforming an interval valued data matrix (with
m variables and N observations) into a new single valued one
(with m variables and N 2
m
observations). Then, if a fault
has been injected at an instant k, it will appear at an instant
k

= k 2
m
. As shown in gure 5 faults appear in two zones;
the srt one in the interval [5.12e+005, 5.376e+005] and the
second one in [1.024e + 006, 1.0496e + 006].
Once a fault is detected, it is important to locate the faulty
variable. To do so, we have used the variable reconstruction
approach.
Figure 6 and gure 7 present the evolution of the thrusters
isolation indices A
spe
R
, computed after the reconstruction of
each variable at an instant k of zone
1
and zone
2
respectively.
The evolution of the thrusters isolation indices A
spe
R
,
computed after the reconstruction of each variable in zone
1
and zone
2
, are presented respectively in gures 6 and 7. As
we can see, the two indexes A
spe
1
and A
spe
2
are lower than
1. These results conrm that the thrusters number 1 and 2 are
the faulty ones.
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5
x 10
6
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
X: 5.12e+005
Y: 0.1579
S
P
E

/

2
(time)
X: 1.024e+006
Y: 0.1432
SPE_Threshold
SPE_FAULT2
SPE_FAULT1
Fig. 5. Thrusters fault detection with SPE index
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
(m)
A
s
p
e
R

(
z
o
n
e
1
)
Fig. 6. Thrusers fault localization using the index A
spe
R
Z1
.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
(m)
A
s
p
e
R

(
z
o
n
e
2
)
Fig. 7. Thrusers fault localization using the index A
spe
R
Z2
.
V. CONCLUSION
The centers PCA and the vertices PCA are considered as
the most common method that extended the classical PCA to
interval valued data. In fact, the centers method is essentially
an analysis between the observations while the vertices method
is an analysis using both between and within observations
variations.
The present paper has presented a fault diagnosis process
based on the vertices principal component analysis. This
approach has been used to perform the fault detection and
isolation of spacecraft thrusters during the rendez-vous phase
of the Mars Sample Return mission.
In order to estimate the VPCA model, we have used
interval valued data matrix consisting of all measures of the
nominal spacecraft thrusters.
Once the VPCA model is built, and to put in evidence the
predened faults, we have applied the classical detection index
SPE to the new matrix of single valued data.
After the detection phase, an isolation fault approach, based
on the reconstruction principle highlighted the predened
thrusters faults.
According to this paper, the VPCA method is considered
computationally cumbersome since it requires the transforma-
tion of the interval valued data matrix into a single valued
data matrix. The number of rows of this matrix depends
exponentially on the number of variables and linearly on the
number of observation units.
The intended purpose of this research is then to develop a
new optimized approach that generalizes the principal compo-
nent analysis to interval valued data.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The research work presented in this paper falls within
a collaboration between the LRI (Laboratory for Computer
Science) and Thales Alenia Space. The authors would like to
thank Thales Alenia Space for providing the MSR high-delity
simulator.
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