Aging Methodologies and Prognostic Health Management for Electrolytic Capacitors

Shared by Miryam Strautkalns, updated on May 09, 2013


Author(s) :
C. Kulkarni, G. Biswas, X. Koutsoukos, J. Celaya, K. Goebel

Understanding the ageing mechanisms of electronic components critical avionics systems such as the GPS and INAV are of critical importance. Electrolytic capacitors and MOSFET’s have higher failure rates among the components of DC-DC power converter systems. Our current work focuses on analyzing and modeling electrolytic capacitor degradation and its effects on the output of DC-DC converter systems. The output degrada- tion is typically measured by an increase in ESR (Equivalent Series Resistance) and decrease in the capacitance value over long periods of use even under nominal operating conditions. Typically the primary effect of degradation is increased ripple current and this has adverse effects on downstream components. For example, in avionics systems where the power supply drives a GPS unit, ripple currents can cause glitches in the GPS position and velocity output, and this may cause errors in the Inertial Navigation (INAV) system, causing the aircraft to fly off course. In this paper, we present the details of our ageing methodology along with details of experiments and analysis of the results.

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