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International Journal of Rotating Machinery
Volume 2 (1996), Issue 4, Pages 237-245

System Identification Methods for Dynamic Testing of Fluid-Film Bearings

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Cleveland State University, Cleveland 44115, OH, USA
2Dept. of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland 44106, OH, USA
3NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland 44135, OH, USA

Copyright © 1996 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There are various system identification approaches typically used to extract the rotordynamic coefficients from simultaneously measured dynamic force and motion signals. Since the coefficient values extracted can vary significantly as a function of the system identification approach used, more attention is needed to treat this issue than is typically included in the rotor dynamics literature. This paper describes system identification and data reduction methods used for extracting rotordynamic coefficients of fluid-film journal bearings. Data is used from a test apparatus incorporating a double-spoolshaft spindle which permits independent control over the journal spin speed and the frequency of an adjustable-magnitude circular orbit, for both forward and backward whirling. For example, a least squares linear regression on the force-displacement equations of the experiment provides only one of the rational approaches to extract the anisotropic rotordynamic coefficients (stiffness, damping and fluid inertia effects). Rotordynamic coefficients are also extracted with both first and second order orbital frequency dependencies. To assess the quality of the measured signals, coherence functions are calculated to relate the time-averaged input motion signals and the time-averaged output force signals.