Analyzing Shaft Twist And Repairing Damaged Tachos

This post discusses analyzing shaft twist and at the same time handling the less than perfect data that we have all come across.

A shaft has been instrumented with two shaft encoders, one at each end. Each shaft encoder gives out a once/rev pulse and a 720 pulses/rev signal. Each signal was digitised at 500,000 samples/second. The objective is to measure the twist in the shaft and analyze into orders. The test stand was already equipped with a data acquisition system so a Prosig acquisition system was not required. Instead it was decided that the data captured by the resident system would be imported into the DATS software. The only format available from the customer system was ‘comma separated variables’ or CSV. This is not ideal as it is an ASCII based format and therefore creates very large files.


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High Pass Filtering And Tacho Signals

It is sometimes necessary to perform high pass filtering to eliminate low frequency signals. These may arise for instance from whole body vibrations when perhaps our interest is in higher frequency components from a substructure such as an engine or gearbox mounting. The vibration levels are speed sensitive and the usual scheme is to record a once per revolution ‘tacho’ signal with the vibration data. The tacho signal, which ideally is a nice regular pulse train, is processed to find rotational speed and hence to select which part of the vibration signal is to be frequency analyzed. The most common form of analysis is a waterfall type such as shown below.


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Removing Phase Delay Using A Phaseless Filter

In many instances we need to filter a signal to remove unwanted frequencies. If we use classical filters such as Butterworth, Chebyshev or even Bessel then a phase delay is introduced. This phase delay is itself a function of frequency so that the signal content at one frequency is delayed a different amount to that at another frequency. Why does this matter?


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