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Reactors designed by Argonne National Laboratory

Systems/Process Monitoring, Diagnostics and Control

Process Monitoring & Signal Validation


The purpose of this software is to provide system operators with timely, reliable information about the conformance of process behavior, as inferred from sensor readings, with expected behavior based on past observation. To date, the Division's efforts have centered on the development, validation, and demonstration of MSET, a software system designed for real-time monitoring of steady-state or quasi-steady-state processes. The system consists of two major components:

  1. a state estimation model that generates an analytical estimate of sensor signals, based on actual sensor readings and previously learned correlations among them, and
  2. a fault detection model (the Sequential Probability Ratio Test), which analyzes the statistical characteristics of the time series obtained by taking the difference between each measured signal and its numerically generated counterpart and then determines, at the earliest possible time, whether the process is behaving as expected or anomalously.

By providing a reliable indication of the health of a process, MSET can reduce the need to replace or recalibrate instruments and components, thereby increasing system availability and lowering maintenance costs. MSET's ability to provide an early warning of incipient faults enables the operator to schedule corrective actions to minimize the adverse consequences of malfunctions. Where it can be established that sensor failure (not component malfunction) is responsible for anomalous behavior, MSET's analytically generated estimate of what the sensor indication should be can be used as a substitute for the erroneous signal, and counterproductive tampering with the process itself can be avoided.

The MSET software is being demonstrated and validated for a variety of LWR plant monitoring applications, in cooperation with nuclear power utilities and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Its value as a monitoring technology has also been recognized in other applications (e.g., manufacturing, the chemical industry, aero-space and defense, transportation, etc.). A significant effort is being made to transfer MSET technology to organizations in both the public and commercial sectors.

The validation of MSET has relied primarily on empirical evidence obtained through its application to a variety of engineering systems. This empirical approach is being complemented by a theoretical effort to establish the basis for the software's validity. In addition, new models for state estimation are under investigation, with the objective of further improving upon the accuracy and reliability of MSET.

Last Modified: Thu, April 21, 2016 4:54 AM





  • MSET
    Software system for real-time process monitoring

Postdoc Jobs

For more information:

Dr. Rick Vilim
Engineering Analysis Dept.
Plant Analysis and Control Section
Fax: +1 630-252-4620

R. Vilim