EECS graduate student receives top award for paper presented at AIAA conference

Doctoral candidate Chetan S. Kulkarni, electrical engineering and computer science department, received the “Best Student Paper Award” at an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) conference June 19-21 in Garden Grove, Calif.

The paper – “Physics-based Modeling and Prognostics of Electrolytic Capacitors” – is co-authored with his adviser, Professor Gautam Biswas, along with Dr. José R. Celaya and Dr. Kai Goebel from the Prognostics Centre of Excellence, NASA Ames Research Centre.

Chetan Kulkarni

The paper was presented by Kulkarni, who also is a research assistant at Vanderbilt’s Institute for Software Integrated Systems.

The paper presents a prognostic methodology for electrolytic capacitors. Electrolytic capacitors are known for their high failure rates in switched-mode power supplies and power electronics.

The methodology presented is based on extended accelerated aging experiments applying thermal overstress to a set of capacitors. Based on the characterization data and underlying behavior of the capacitors from the aging tests are used to derive physics-based degradation models, which in turn are used in a Bayesian tracking framework to estimate the state of health of the capacitors and then to predict time to failure.

The objective of this work is to further research in Prognostic and Health Management (PHM) methodology at component level for electrolytic capacitors and to use capacitor prognostics as a case study on validation of previously proposed physics-based degradation model approach for prognostics.

Infotech@Aerospace (I@A) is AIAA’s premier forum for modern aerospace applications focusing on information-enabled systems, algorithms, hardware, and software, and provides a unique opportunity for fostering advances and interactions across these disciplines. Attendees and authors span military, scientific, commercial, and academic communities that are driven by the communication of information via computers and software.

In addition, the authors were recipients of the 2011 “Best Paper Award” at the annual conference of the Prognostics and Health Management Society. Their paper, “Physics Based Electrolytic Capacitor Degradation Models for Prognostic Studies under Thermal Overstress,” presented at the first European conference of the Prognostics and Health Management Society, July 3-5, 2012, in Dresden, Germany, was selected as one of the 10 best papers presented at the conference and has been invited to be presented at the Annual Conference of the Prognostics and Health Management Society, September 23-27, 2012, Minneapolis, MN.

The Annual Conference of the PHM Society brings together the global community of PHM experts from industry, academia, and government in diverse application areas such as energy, aerospace, transportation, automotive, and industrial automation.