The correct behavior of spacecraft components is the foundation of unhindered mission operation. However, no technical system is free of wear and degradation. A malfunction of one single component might significantly alter the behavior of the whole spacecraft and may even lead to a complete mission failure. Therefore, abnormal component behavior must be detected early in order to be able to perform counter measures. A dedicated fault detection system can be employed, as opposed to classical health monitoring, performed by human operators, to decrease the response time to a malfunction. In this paper, we present a generic model-based diagnosis system, which detects faults by analyzing the spacecraft’s housekeeping data. The observed behavior of the spacecraft components, given by the housekeeping data is compared to their expected behavior, obtained through simulation. Each discrepancy between the observed and the expected behavior of a component generates a so-called symptom. Given the symptoms, the diagnoses are derived by computing sets of components whose malfunction might cause the observed discrepancies. We demonstrate the applicability of the diagnosis system by using modified housekeeping data of the qualification model of an actual spacecraft and outline the advantages and drawbacks of our approach.
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