Development of a prototype H-46 helicopter diagnostic expert system.
Gadzala, Thomas J.
Roberts, Nancy C.
Lind, Judith H.
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This study was undertaken to demonstrate the feasibility of applying expert system technology to the Navy's H-46 helicopter maintenance process. A microcomputer-based prototype known as a computer-aided diagnostic system (CADS) was developed for this purpose. Given a helicopter electrical or hydraulic system discrepancy, the troubleshooter interacts with CADS to find the cause. The prototype CADS was developed utilizing the M.1 knowledge-based system development tool by Teknowledge, Inc. The complexity of helicopter systems diagnosis, and inadequacies of the maintenance manuals, often result in unnecessary removal of system components. The prototype CADS is intended to demonstrate that a fully developed system, containing all the formal and heuristic knowledge of H-46 diagnostic information, could eliminate these problems. Also, such a diagnostic system could provide a comprehensive, stable diagnostic knowledge base, regardless or personnel turnover. This study includes a description of current helicopter maintenance procedures, and how the integration of CADS could improve this process. Also included are descriptions of expert systems and the M.I. knowledge-based system development tool: how they work, and their applicability to structured selection problem-solving. The development and testing strategies used for CADS are discussed in detail. Results, conclusions, and recommendations for further study are provided.
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