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Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 49 (2014) 302316

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/ymssp

Identification of active magnetic bearing system


with a flexible rotor
Sun Zhen, He Ying, Zhao Jingjing, Shi Zhengang, Zhao Lei, Yu Suyuan
Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology, Tsinghua University, The Key Laboratory of Advanced Reactor Engineering and Safety,
Ministry of Education, PR China

a r t i c l e in f o

abstract

Article history:
Received 9 October 2013
Received in revised form
9 March 2014
Accepted 2 May 2014
Available online 21 May 2014

Active magnetic bearings (AMBs) are widely applied in high-speed rotating machinery,
especially in special environments. In designing and adjusting an AMB system, the
mathematical model of the system plays an important role. Identification is a useful
method to obtain the models of AMB systems. This paper concentrates on identification
method for an AMB system with a flexible rotor. Based on the theoretical system model
and the measured frequencyresponse model, the proposed method estimates the
unknown parameters and establishes the transfer function matrix model of the AMB
system. According to the theoretical model, this paper decomposes the identification
procedure into a few steps and the model is sequentially reduced by these steps. In this
procedure, the submodels are identified separately and finally combined together. The
proposed method is validated by experiments on three AMB systems.
& 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords:
Identification
Active magnetic bearing system
Flexible rotor
Frequencyresponse model
Transfer function matrix model

1. Introduction
Compared with conventional bearings, active magnetic bearings (AMBs) [1,2] possess several attractive advantages, such
as no friction, no need of lubrication, and the ability of long-term high speed running. Therefore, AMBs are widely applied in
high-speed rotating machinery, especially in special environments. A typical AMB system includes the following parts:
a rotor, bearings, sensors, a power amplifier and a controller. Nevertheless, for each application case, the AMB system should
be specifically designed, installed and adjusted. This procedure is quite costly and time-consuming. The mathematical model
of an AMB system plays an important role in designing and adjusting the whole system. From the viewpoint of modelling,
the flexible rotor is the most complex part of an AMB system. Here the term flexible emphasizes that the bending of the
rotor should be taken into account. The rotor model can be computed numerically [3]. However, a practical rotor is usually
so intricate that the computational models of flexible rotors and AMB systems are not precise enough.
Identification is a useful method to obtain the system model. From the viewpoint of control system analysis, an AMB
system with a flexible rotor possesses a series of special features. First, it is well-known that an AMB system is openloop unstable. This obstructs the application of most well-developed identification methods where the stability of the
system is assumed. Second, the internal damping of a flexible rotor is quite low, this fact results in a series of numerical
problems in computation. Third, the model form of this system is known, while the parameters should be estimated,
that is, this problem can be regarded as a parametric identification problem. Several works have studied the model

Corresponding author.
E-mail address: sun_zhe@tsinghua.edu.cn (Z. Sun).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ymssp.2014.05.004
0888-3270/& 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Z. Sun et al. / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 49 (2014) 302316

303

identification methods of AMB systems. Some researches focused on the identification of the current and position
coefficients in the linearized electromagnetic force equation of magnetic bearing systems. Among the rest, the
researchers identified the current and position stiffness indirectly using frequencyresponse function [4], where
AMB was used as an exciter to take dynamic characteristics of the whole AMB system into consideration. A direct
identification method of current and position stiffness by employing a modified least-mean-squares (LMS) algorithm
was studied in [5]. However, this method requires measurement of the electromagnetic force. The state-space model of
the magnetic bearing systems is identified in some literature. As an extension of the frequency domain subspace
identification method [6], subspace system identification methods together with instrumental variable method in
frequency domain were used in order to identify a 4  4 MIMO AMB system in [7,8]. In [9], a linear model of an
experimental AMB system with zero-mean white innovation process was obtained by applying predictor-based
subspace identification algorithms. Beside the two identification objects mentioned above, the transfer function model
identification was also studied in some literatures. For example, a plant transfer function of a magnetic bearing system
is obtained by fitting the model to the collected data in the frequency domain using the Frequency Domain
Identification Toolbox of Matlab in [10]. In [11], model identification was accomplished by reducing the discrepancies
between measured frequencyresponse functions and responses of a rotor model. Both papers are based on the
complex curve fitting technique [12]. References [13,14] apply a model update strategy, namely the finite element
model of a rotor is established firstly and some finite element parameters are selected. These parameters may affect the
model significantly and they can be hardly determined in computations. Then these selected parameters are identified
based on experimental results.
This paper proposes an identification method for AMB systems with a flexible rotor. The proposed method is
validated on a few large size AMB systems. This paper differs from the aforementioned literatures in the following
aspects: (1) the theoretical model of a statically suspended flexible rotor is considered in this paper. According to the
theoretical model, this paper decomposes the identification procedure into a few steps and the model is reduced
sequentially by these steps. The main advantage of using this model is that the identification result possesses specific
physical interpretation and can be directly utilized to improve the theoretical and/or numerical modeling methods. In
contrast, general identification methods are applied in [711] and no specific identification models are involved. On the
other hand, [1315] utilize the finite element model of the rotor and update the model according to the experimental
data. This procedure relies on the initial finite element model and the knowledge about the uncertainties in this model.
In this paper, the system model is directly identified by the proposed method based on the measured data, no
information about the rotor is involved in this procedure. Therefore the proposal does not require to establish and
understand the finite element model and is suitable for the cases with intricate rotors. (2) The proposed method mainly
concentrates on the relationship between the rotor's displacement and the control instruction and does not require
force sensors. Since no force sensors are available in most industrial applications, the proposal is especially suitable for
these applications and those force-sensor-dependent methods in [2,5] are inapplicable. (3) As for large-size AMB
systems, high-power amplifiers are involved. The output delay of these devices, which is neglected by previous studies,
is very common yet important. This paper takes the delay into account and validates the proposed method by three
large-size AMB systems.
This paper focuses on the frequency domain identification. In an identification experiment, the suspended rotor
is excited by the magnetic bearings and the rotor displacements are observed by sensors. The frequencyresponse
model (FRM) of bearing-rotor system is then calculated. More specifically, the FRM includes a series of frequency
points fk glk 1 and the corresponding responses Hjk , the latter refers the magnitude and phase of the responses
in the form of complex matrix. On the other hand, in the controller design and evaluation procedure of an AMB
system, transfer function matrix model (TFMM) is frequently utilized. For example, for quantitative evaluation of the
stability margin of the TFMM is needed; for advanced control algorithm design the explicit TFMM is necessary as well
[13,14]. Therefore, the objective of identification is estimating TFMM Hs of an AMB system based on the measured
FRM fk ; Hjk glk 1 .
In this paper, F A; B denotes the closed-loop transfer function matrix of the negative feedback system, where the
forward path is characterized by the transfer function matrix A and the feedback path by B, namely
F A; B I AB  1 A;

where I is the identity matrix. For a transfer function model, we use the notation channel k1 ; k2 to refer to the channel
from input k2 to output k1, namely the (k1 ; k2 )-th component of the transfer function matrix. In this paper, element-wise
operations of a matrix are frequently used. Some symbols are self-explanatory, for example sin and refer to the
element-wise sine and element-wise angle of complex numbers, respectively. The symbol is used to represent the
element-wise divide, for example, the (k1 ; k2 )-th element of AB is the quotient of the (k1 ; k2 )-th elements of A and B,
namely Ak1 ;k2 =Bk1 ;k2 . In this paper, terms with a superscript M are used to refer to the quantities obtained or calculated
from measurement; terms with I denote the estimated parameters by the identification algorithm; in theoretical
derivations terms without superscripts are used. We use the notation to denote that two measured quantities are
theoretically equivalent. However, they may differ in practice due to the measurement error. In consideration of
computational complexity and other technical reasons, sometimes we have to approximate some relationships. The

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Z. Sun et al. / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 49 (2014) 302316

notation Eis used to refer theoretically approximately equivalent relationship. The symbol J J denotes the Frobenius norm
of a matrix.

2. Model of active magnetic bearing exible rotor system


2.1. Models of components
Consider a rotor with a coordinate system showing in Fig. 1. This paper concentrates on AMB systems with a fully
suspended rotor. This paper supposes that the axial and radial dynamic characteristics of the rotor can be decoupled.

Fig. 1. Rotor coordinate system.

Fig. 2. Arrangement of AMB system.

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Moreover, this paper considers static identification, that is, during the identification experiments the rotor does not rotate.
Thus gyroscopic effects [3] are not involved in the experiments and the dynamic features in two orthogonal radial planes, i.e.
xz-plane and yz-plane, can also be decoupled. In this paper we only consider the dynamic model of the rotor in one radial
plane (say xz-plane). The arrangement of a typical bearing-rotor system in a radial plane is shown in Fig. 2.
As shown in Fig. 2, two radial bearings are mounted at axial positions 1 and 2 and two sensors at positions 1 and 2.
In the dynamic analysis of flexible rotors, it is common to regard a rotor as a freefree elastic beam [2,16,14]. In this paper
the statically suspended rotor is regarded as a freefree beam as well. Suppose for a rotor of length l, denote its natural
frequencies (NFs) as fk g and the corresponding normal modes as fk g. Suppose that a concentrated force F is applied to
the rotor at position , by applying Laplace transform to the mode-summation presentation of the motion equation of an
elastic beam [17], the frequency-domain lateral response of rotor at position is
k k
F s:
2
2
k 1 s k
1

X s;

If the internal damping of the rotor is taken into account, then the model is
1
Xs;
k
2 k
;
2
F s
k 0 s 2 k k s k

where f k g are damping ratios.


In the following part of this paper, we use the notation R; s Xs; =F s to denote the transfer function from the
concentrated force F to the displacement Xs; . As an example, R1 ;2 is the transfer function from the force of bearing 2 to
the displacement at sensor 1. Moreover, the following transfer function matrixes are applied:
"
#
R1 ;1 s R1 ;2 s
RE; s
;
4a
R2 ;1 s R2 ;2 s
"
R; s

R1 ;1 s

R1 ;2 s

R2 ;1 s

R2 ;2 s

#
:

4b

These transfer function matrixes possess the same form. As example,


1

1
Ck :

k0 k

RE;

In this expression, the first term refers to the rigid mode, namely 0 s s2 ; k s s2 2 k k s 2k ; k 1; 2; ; Ck are (2  2)dimensional matrixes. In practice, Eq. (5) is approximated by the partial summation of terms 0 to N.
The rotor model in the form of Eq. (5) can be divided into two parts: the rigid part and the flexible part. For sufficiently
low frequency 51 , 1
k 0 1=k Ck  1=0 C0 , namely the rotor behaves as a rigid one. Hence the term 1=0 C0 refers to
1
the rigid part. In this paper, the flexible part of a rotor is defined as N
k 0 0 s=k sCk C0 . The main advantage of applying
this form of flexible part is that the affect of rigid part can be eliminated in identifying the flexible part.
This paper utilizes the linearized model of magnetic bearings [1,2], namely the electromagnetic force is seen as linear
with respect to the control current and the rotor displacement as
F ki i kx x;

where ki and kx are the forcecurrent factor and forcedisplacement factor, respectively; i is the control current of the
bearing and x is the lateral displacement of the rotor.
The dynamics of the power amplifier and sensors are ignored in this paper, hence they are modeled as gain units. When
the controller's instruction is concerned, Eq. (6) can be rewritten as follows:
F ku uI kx x ki kiu uI kx x;

where kiu refers to the gain of power amplifier, and uI is the instruction from the controller to the power amplifier.
In this paper, the motions of the rotor in a radial plane (say xz-plane in Fig. 1) are concerned, hence the models of
bearings, power amplifier and sensors are written in the form of matrix:
"
#
"
#
"
#
kiu;1 ki;1
0
kS;1
kx;1
0
0
Ku
; KS
; Kx
;
8
0
kiu;2 ki;2
0
kS;2
0
kx;2
where kiu;1 and kiu;1 are respectively the gain of channels 1 and 2 of the power amplifier, kS;1 and kS;2 are the gain of sensors,
and so on.
2.2. System model
Since AMB systems are open-loop unstable, only closed-loop experiments can be performed. However, the model of the
controller is known, thus it is not difficult to compute the open-loop model by block transformations. This paper mainly

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Z. Sun et al. / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 49 (2014) 302316

Fig. 3. Scheme of radial model of magnetic bearing-flexible rotor system.

Table 1
Symbols in Fig. 3.
Symbol

Interpretation

Type

uI
Ku
F
RE; , R;
x E , x
Kx
Ks
e  s
uS

Controller's instruction
Gain from the output of controller to the electromagnetic force of bearings
Electromagnetic force applied to the rotor
Rotor models
Rotor displacement at sensor positions and bearing positions
Force-displacement factor of bearings
Gain of sensors
System delay
Output of sensors

Vectorial signal
Constant diagonal matrix
Vectorial signal
Transfer function matrixes
Vectorial signals
Constant diagonal matrix
Constant diagonal matrix
Scalar
Vectorial signal

considers the open-loop system consisting of the power amplifier, the magnetic bearing, the flexible rotor and the sensor.
The model of this system in a radial plane is shown in Fig. 3.
In the following part of this paper, we use the term Open-Loop Bearing-Rotor System (OLBRS) to refer to this system.
In Fig. 3, the electromagnetic force, the controller's instruction and the sensor's output are two-dimensional vectors and
all units are (2  2)-dimensional matrixes. The symbols in Fig. 3 are self-explanatory and we summarize them in Table 1.
The transfer function matrix of OLBRS is
Hs KS RE; sI  Kx R ; s  1 Ku e  s :

The feedback in Fig. 3 is a positive feedback, which refers to the so-called negative stiffness of AMB. Hence OLBRS is
unstable, namely it possesses unstable poles. For a common designed AMB system, the frequency of unstable poles is far
from NF of the first bending mode of the freefree rotor. Denote this NF by 1.

2.3. Measurements and objective of identification


By swept-sine experiments and block transformations, a series of frequency points f1 ; ; l g (sorted in ascending
order) and the corresponding response HM jk ; k 1; ; l can be obtained. The unstable poles and 1 can be roughly
estimated from the Bode plot of HM . As mentioned, the rotor model can be divided into rigid part and flexible part. Thereby
according to the unstable poles and 1, the frequency points fh glh 1 can be divided into two non-intersect subsets: the rigid
segment R and the flexible segment F . The rigid segment R covers the frequencies of the unstable poles and the
frequency points in R are far from 1, so that the Bode plot of HM jk ; k A R approximate to the Bode plot of a typical
AMB-rigid rotor system. F contains other frequency points.
The main objective of this paper is to estimate OLBRM Hs based on the measurement HM jk ; k 1; ; l, or equivalently
to determine the system parameters therein. From the point of view of control system analysis and design, the most
important target is OLBRM Hs. Besides, the rotor model RE; s is quite meaningful for improving the computational
modeling method. On the other hand, since the model structure in Fig. 3 is known, it is reasonable to divide the
identification of H into a few steps. In these steps R E; and other unknown models are identified and then combined to H.
More specifically, the proposed method includes three steps: firstly the system delay in Fig. 3 is estimated, then the rigid
part of the model is identified and the result is used to eliminate the feedback in Fig. 3, finally the flexible model is
identified. Fig. 3 is sequentially reduced by these three steps, the submodels are obtained separately and finally combined
together.
In this paper, some equivalent and approximately equivalent relationships about the system model and measurements
are derived firstly, then the estimation methods of unknown parameters in these relationships are proposed and interpreted
as identification methods. The main estimation method in this paper is least square (LS) method. Both linear and nonlinear
LS methods are utilized. It is common in this paper that real parameters should be estimated by minimizing the norm of
some complex vectors, thus the estimation is performed by dividing the complex vectors into real parts and imaginary parts.
The technical details are given in Appendix A. Linear LS problems can be solved directly by the MoorePenrose
pseudoinverse [18]. Numerical methods for solving nonlinear LS problems are also well-developed. In this work the
lsqnonlin in Matlab is utilized to solve these problems. The details of solving LS methods are not discussed in this paper.

Z. Sun et al. / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 49 (2014) 302316

307

3. Identication of open-loop bearing-rotor system


3.1. Identification of system delay
Notice that for a typical flexible rotor, the internal damping ratio f k g is quite small, so that the matrixes RE; j
and R; j possess an interesting property for most frequency points, namely the components of matrixes RE; j
and R; j are very close to real axis in the complex plane. To be more formal, for a small positive number , define
a set as
f: J RE; j J J R; j J o g:

10

Suppose : 20; R is the Lebesgue measure on the frequency range 0; , we notice that in practice there exists a
number  0 and a number  1 such that

4:
0; 

11

On the other hand, most units in Fig. 3 are real constants except the delay e  s . Therefore if R E; j and R; j
approximate to real matrixes, OLBRM Hjej approximate to real matrixes as well. Since the sine of the angle of a real
number is 0, for A :
J sin Hjej J  0:

12

Based on the above facts, the following nonlinear LS cost function is applied to estimate :
I argmin J sin Hjk ejk t J 2
tZ0

13

k A

3.2. Identification of rigid part


M
jk
Once I is estimated, the system delay can be eliminated. Denote HM
. For the rigid frequency segment,
1 jk H jk e
the bending of the rotor can be neglect, namely
I

RE; 

1
1
R; R ;  2 M  1 ; for s j; A R :
s2
s

14

Block transformations shown in Fig. 4 are applied to reduce the system, where
Q KS RK u ;
Ku 1 Kx M  1 R  1 KS 1

15

are constant real matrixes.


M
2
Denote by HM
2 jk H1 jk ; k A R the rigid model, notice that based on the structure of H2 , 1=s Q can be obtained by
applying a negative feedback to H2 (dotted box in Fig. 5).

Fig. 4. Model transformations of rigid model.

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Z. Sun et al. / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 49 (2014) 302316

Fig. 5. Additional negative feedback.

Namely,
F H2 ; I H2 s  1 H2 s

1
Q;
s2

16

and equivalently
s2 H2 s Q H2 sQ :
For s j, there is
2

17
"

 H2 j I H2 j

Q
Q

#
:

18

Substitute measurements fk ; HM jk gk A R into above equations, then Q I and I can be estimated by the methods given in
Appendix A.
3.3. Identification of flexible part
In the rigid frequency segment, the rotor acts as a rigid one, i.e. R;  s  2 M  1 . On the other hand, it is well-known that
for sufficiently large , J R; j J is quite small. In practice, based on the method proposed in [19], the model R; can be
evaluated from experiments with various bias currents; from the experiments result associated with a typical flexible rotor,
we can conclude that, for the first bending NF 1, J R; j1 J is already sufficiently small, so that I Kx R;  I. Similarly,
I j  2 Kx M  1  I for sufficiently large . Thus the feedback term Kx R ; can be approximate by s  2 Kx M  1 , or
equivalently by the matrix in Fig. 4, namely
H1 s  F Ku RE; sKS ;  :

19

By eliminating the feedback term in H1 , there is


Ku R E; KS  F H1 s; :

20

2

Q in right side, define



1
1
H3 s F H1 s; 2 Q
s2 Ku RE; sKS Q  1
s

Divide it by s

N s2
s2
Ku C k KS Q  1 
Ku Ck KS Q  1
k 0 k
k 0 k

s2 0
Ck ;

k0 k
N

21

and moreover,
C00


s2 0
s2 0
C
C H3 s
1 s 1
N s N

C00


s2 0
s2 0
C1
CN H3 s E;
1 s
N s

N
where E is matrix with all ones. Denote by fk ; k gN
k 1 the parameters in fk gk 1 .

22a

22b

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309

Parameters C0k and k are involved in Eq. (22). In principle, C0k and can be estimated by the relationship equation (22a).
However, here we introduce an additional term Eq. (22b). In fact, as thoroughly discussed in [13,14], the antiresonance
frequencies play an important role in defining the rotor's flexible behavior, therefore we expect precise agreement of the
identified model with the measured data near antiresonance frequencies. In practice we notice that J H3 jk J varies
significantly in the range 1 r rl , it is quite large near those resonance frequencies and quite small near the
antiresonance frequencies. For example, in Fig. 9 in Section 4, for two frequencies m 90Hz and M 98:0Hz, the ratio
J H3 jM J = J H3 jm J 4 100. Therefore if the parameters C0k and are estimated based solely on Eq. (22a), then the
estimation error near m will be submerged by the error near M . As a result, in practice we have noticed that the estimation
result HI3 fits the measurement HM
3 very well near M , but poor near m in this case. The inversion term Eq. (22b) is therefore
introduced to ensure the estimation performance.
Assume that is given, Eq. (22) is then linear with respect to C0k and C0k can be solved by linear LS method. The solution
procedure of this linear LS problem is not difficult and the computational cost is quite low. Moreover, the residue of solution
(denoted by L) can be easily evaluated as well. Therefore a mapping between and the residue L can be defined. By
minimizing L with nonlinear LS, the estimation of can be obtained. The details will be discussed in the following
subsections.

3.3.1. Evaluating C0k with known


Assume h ; h 0; ; N are known, arrange all components of C0h ; h 0; ; N to a vector and rewrite Eq. (22) to
A  b;

23
2k h jk  1

HM
3 jk ;

and inversion of the components of


b consists of
where A consists of the components of
components of HM
3 jk . The details of construction of , A and b are given in Appendix A. Then the estimated parameters
can be solved by LS, namely,
I argmin J A bJ 2  A b;

24

here A denotes the MoorePenrose pseudoinverse of A.


3.3.2. Evaluating
Notice that the matrix A and vector b in Eq. (24) depend on parameters , and the residue of I is
L J A b J 2 J I  AA b J 2 :

25

Hence can be estimated by applying nonlinear LS:


I

argmin

L:

26

:fk 4 0; k 4 0gN
k 1

3.4. Combined identification method


Based on above discussions, the identification method of magnetic bearing flexible rotor can be constructed. The
proposal is summarized as follows:
Algorithm: Identification of flexible rotor with 2-degree-of-freedom in a radial plane.
Input: Frequency points fk glk 1 and the corresponding responses fHM jk g
Output: Identified model fHI sg
1: Evaluate estimation of system delay, I , by Eq. (13).
M
2: Calculate HM
1 ; H2 by
M
M
jk
; k A ; HM
HM
1 jk H jk e
2 jk H1 jk ; k A R :
I
I
3: Substitute HM
2 jk into Eq. (18), construct the corresponding least square problem, evaluate Q and .
I

4: Calculate HM
3 by


1
M
I
1
QI
:
H3 jk F HM
1 jk ;
jk 2
I
5: Evaluate by Eq. (26).
I

6: Substitute into Eq. (24), evaluate I , rearrange the components of I to C0Ih ; h 0; ; N.


7: Calculate HI3 s by
N

HI3 s s I C0Ik :
k
8: Calculate kHI10s by




I
I
H1 s F H3 s s12 Q I ;  I :
2

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Z. Sun et al. / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 49 (2014) 302316

9: Calculate HI s by
HI s HI1 se  s :
10: Output HI s, end.
I

4. Experiments
Experiments are performed to validate the proposed methods. Three AMB systems are utilized in experiments. The rotors
in these systems are shown in Fig. 6. In practice all these systems are working in vertical mode, however, in Fig. 6 they are
illustrated horizontally in consideration of layout.
We use the terms AMB system 1, AMB system 2 and AMB system 3 to refer the AMB systems correspond to the
rotors as shown in Fig. 6. The main parameters of these systems are summarized in Table 2.
For AMB systems 1 and 2, two radial planes are investigated, and for AMB system 3 only one radial plane is investigated.
Thus, in the experiments five data sets are measured. In the experiments, the rotors are statically suspended, an Agilent FFT
Dynamic Signal Analyzer 35670A is utilized to measure the closed-loop FRMs and then these FRMs are transformed to the
corresponding FRMs of OLBRM. The proposed identification method is then applied to identify the TFMMs. The experiment
results are shown in the following table and figures. In Table 3, the main parameters of identification results are listed.
In Figs. 711, Bode plots are applied to express the magnitude of the frequency response gain and the phase shift. Since the
OLBRMs discussed in this paper are 2  2 systems, every plot contains four subplots. The arrangement of the subplots in
every plot corresponds to the arrangement of the transfer function matrix. In these plots, blue dots denote the measured
FRM HM and red lines denote the frequency response of identified TFMM HI .
The following conclusions can be drawn from the experiment results:
(1) As shown in Figs. 711, the Bode plots of identified TFMMs fit the measured FRMs precisely. Moreover, the results of
two different radial planes of the same rotor are highly consistent. These facts validate the proposed identification method.

Fig. 6. Rotors in experiments.

Table 2
Main parameters of AMB systems 13.
Rotor number

Rotor length (m)

Rotor mass (kg)

Nominal air gap (mm)

Maximum speed (Hz)

1
2
3

 3:2
 3:7
 3:5

 2700
 2800
 630

1
1
0.6

80
50
300

Table 3
Main identified parameters.
Rotor and direction

Rotor
Rotor
Rotor
Rotor
Rotor

1
1
2
2
3

radial
radial
radial
radial
radial

plane
plane
plane
plane
plane

System delay (ms)

X
Y
X
Y
X

0.34
0.31
0.33
0.30
0.18

Natural frequency of bending modes (Hz)/Internal damping ratio


1st

2nd

3rd

4th

167/0.0012
167/0.0012
98.5/0.0000
98.5/0.0000
45.4/0.0000

310/0.0040
311/0.0023
197/0.0071
197/0.0076
122/0.0000

553/0.0043
555/0.0022
314/0.0021
314/0.0034
239/0.0198

747/0.0059
749/0.0042
503/0.0041
503/0.0035
366/0.0041

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311

Fig. 7. Experiment result of rotor 1 radial plane X. (For interpretation of the references to color in this figure caption, the reader is referred to the web
version of this article.)

Fig. 8. Experiment result of rotor 1 radial plane Y. (For interpretation of the references to color in this figure caption, the reader is referred to the web
version of this article.)

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Z. Sun et al. / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 49 (2014) 302316

Fig. 9. Experiment result of rotor 2 radial plane X. (For interpretation of the references to color in this figure caption, the reader is referred to the web
version of this article.)

Fig. 10. Experiment result of rotor 2 radial plane Y. (For interpretation of the references to color in this figure caption, the reader is referred to the web
version of this article.)

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313

Fig. 11. Experiment result of rotor 3 radial plane X. (For interpretation of the references to color in this figure caption, the reader is referred to the web
version of this article.)

(2) From the phase plots in Figs. 711 it is clear that the system delay in these systems cannot be ignored. The phase
shifts of the measured FRMs HM obviously deviate from the theoretical value (  1801 or 01) and this deviation increases with
the increase of frequency. By taking the system delay into account, the identified models successfully fit the measured data.
Moreover, AMB systems 1 and 2 share the same sensors, bearings and electronic devices. Therefore the identified delays are
similar. By other tests, we have determined that the main cause of this time delay is the power amplifier. In fact, the capacity
of the power amplifier of AMB system 1 is much larger than that of AMB system 3. Thus the identified delay of AMB system
1 is significantly larger than that of AMB system 3 (see Table 3).
(3) The rigid part of the models is well identified in all experiments. This fact implies the validity of the proposed identification
method for rigid part. Moreover, since the mass matrixes R and M and the coefficients KS and kiu;1 ; kiu;2 can be easily attained, the
force-current coefficient matrix Kx and forcedisplacement coefficients ki;1 ; ki;2 can also be estimated based on the identification
results of rigid parts. These estimations are not in the scope of this work and will be investigated in the future work.
(4) In all experiments and all channels, the resonances are successfully identified and most antiresonances are well fitted.
The antiresonance of the first bending mode in channel 2 2 in Fig. 8 is especially noticeable, since the measured data
hardly match a typical antiresonance. But the antiresonance is precisely recovered by the proposed method. The reason is
the theoretical model is involved in the identification. This conclusion is also valid for the antiresonance of the first bending
mode in channel 2  2 in Fig. 7. However, some antiresonances are not identified successfully. It is interesting to notice that
all failures of fitting antiresonance occur in the non-diagonal channels, for instance channels 1  2 and 2 1 in Fig. 7,
channel 2  1 in Fig. 9 and so on. In our opinion the main course is the irregular distribution of the zeros of the transfer
function of non-diagonal channels. In fact, for a diagonal channel, the zeros are complex conjugate pairs and close to the
imaginary axis in the complex plane. Conversely, distribution of the zeros of the transfer function of a non-diagonal channel
is not so regular, they may real numbers or complex conjugate pairs far from the imaginary axis. In the identification
procedure the zeros are implicitly determined based on (22), numerical difficulties may occur in this procedure. More
reasonable estimation strategies will be researched in the future.
(5) However, the measured FRMs slightly deviate the theoretical model of a typical flexible rotor. In Figs. 7 and 8, there
are some untypical small resonant peaks (near first bending mode). The main cause of these small resonant peaks is the
resonances of stators. In these experiments, these untypical resonance peaks do not affect the identification.
5. Conclusions and discussions
This paper proposes an identification method for AMB systems. The TFMM of an AMB system can be estimated by the
proposed method based on the measured FRM. In this paper, the mathematical models of an AMB system and its

314

Z. Sun et al. / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 49 (2014) 302316

components are firstly derived. According to these models, three identification steps are introduced, namely identification of
system delay, identification of rigid part and identification of flexible part. By these steps, the system model is reduced
sequentially and some submodels are identified by these steps and then combined together. Experiments with three AMB
systems validate the proposed method.
The future works of this paper include
(1) The proposal is based on frequency domain least square method and theoretical model is involved. However, many
well-developed general identification methods besides least square are available and many interesting ideas of identification in the range of AMB are also reported. If they are properly combined with the proposed method, the proposal may be
further improved and more advanced identification methods for AMB system may be developed. Moreover, this work only
concentrates on the statically suspended rotor and the gyroscopic effect is not considered. The idea of this work can be
extended to developing identification methods of AMB system with a rotating rotor.
(2) Based on the proposed identification method, advanced controller design algorithm can be applied to improve the
performance of an AMB system. Moreover, the numerical modeling of flexible rotors can be improved as well and model
updating strategies similar to [13,14] may be developed.
(3) As discussed in the experiment section, due to the resonance of stator components, the measured FRM possesses
some untypical resonant peaks. Though this deviation from the utilized mathematical model does not introduce serious
negative effects into the experiments in this paper, it is not guaranteed that this deviation has no effect on the accuracy and
numerical stability of the identification. In the future, we will perform theoretical investigations on stator models, evaluate
their influence on identification and introduce them to identification if necessary.
(4) The proposed identification method offers a good basis for control system analysis and design of advanced control
methods. Quantitative analysis on the stability margin and robustness can be performed based on the identified TFMM.
However, to make precise analysis on stability and robustness, estimation on modeling error is necessary. Since the
proposed method is a parametric identification method, specific research on the utilized mathematical models and involved
solution algorithms should be taken into account to make the estimation on modeling error.
(5) In those swept-sine experiments, the experiment parameters, such as frequency points, excitation magnitude,
transient time and average mode, are chosen empirically. In future works, we expect to make quantitative and statistical
researches on the swept-sine experiments on AMB systems. These researches will take characteristics of AMBs, flexible
rotors and electromagnetic noise in the system into account. By these researches, statistical error estimation of swept-sine
experiments can be expected, the choice of parameters can be optimized and the experiment procedures could be
simplified.

Acknowledgments
This paper is financially supported by the National Science and Technology Major Project of China (2011ZX069) and
Project 61305065 supported by NSFC.

Appendix A. Complex equations and least square solutions


A.1. Least square solution of (18)
Given frequency points fk glk 1 and corresponding measurement HM
2 k , the equivalence (18) can be rewritten with
measured terms as
2

I
6
6
4
I

2
3
3
"
#
 21 HM
HM
2 j1
2 j1
6
7
7 Q
6
7:
7

5
5 Q 4
M
2 M
 l H2 jl
H2 jl

A:1

Divide it into real and image parts:


2

6
6
6
6 3I
6
6
6O
6
6
4
O

RHM
2 j1

21 RHM
2 j1

6
7
7
6
7

7
6
7
7
"
#
6
7
M
M
2
7
RH
j

RH2 jl 7 Q
6
l 7
2
l
6
7

7
6  2 IHM j 7;
7 Q
IHM
1 7
6
2 j1 7
2
1
6
7
7
6
7

5
4
5
IHM
 2l IHM
2 jl
2 jl

A:2

Z. Sun et al. / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 49 (2014) 302316

315

where O is the matrix of all zeros and R; I refer the real part and imaginary part of a complex matrix, respectively. Then the
identified parameters can be solved by linear LS as
3
2
3 2
 21 RHM
I RHM
2 j1
2 j1
6
7
6
7 6
7

6
7 6
7
"
#
6
7
6  2 RHM j 7
M
I
6
7
Q
l 7
2
l
6 I RH2 jl 7 6
7;
6
A:3
7 6
M
7
2
6 O IHM
7 6
Q I
2 j1 7 6 1 IH2 j1 7
6
6
7
6
7 6
7

4
5 4
5
M
O IH2 jl
 2l IHM
2 jl
and I Q I Q I  1 .
A.2. Structures of matrixes in (23)
In this section the subscript (k1 ; k2 ) is used to denote the (k1 ; k2 )-th element of a matrix. Assume h ; h 0; ; N are
known constant, the parameter vector is defined as
C00;1;1 C00;1;2 C00;2;1 C00;2;2 C0N;2;2  > :
Moreover, define a matrix A0 and a vector b0 as
2
3
 2
 2
I4 1 j11 I4 N j11 I4
6
7
6
7
6
7
6
7
2
2
 l
 l
6 I4
7
I

I
4
4
6
1 jl
N jk 7
7
A0 6
6
7
 2
 2
6 I4 j1 D j1 D 7
1
1
N
1
6
7
6
7
6
7
4
5
 2l
 2l
I4 1 jk D N jk D

A:4

A:5

and
2

HM
3;1;1 j1

6
7
6 HM j 7
6 3;1;2 1 7
6
7
6 HM j 7
6 3;2;1 1 7
6
7
6 HM j 7
6 3;2;2 1 7
6
7
6
7

6
7
6 HM j 7
6 3;1;1 k 7
b0 6
7;
6 HM j 7
6 3;1;2 k 7
6
7
6 HM j 7
6 3;2;1 k 7
6
7
6 HM j 7
6 3;2;2 k 7
6
7
6
7
1
6
7
6
7

4
5
1
where I4 is the 4-dimensional identity matrix and
2 M
3
H3;1;1  1
0
0
0
6
7
1
6
7
0
HM
0
0
6
7
3;1;2
6
7
D6
M
1
7
0
0
0
H3;2;1
6
7
4
5
M
1
0
0
0
H3;2;2

A:6

A:7

With these notations, there is theoretically A0 b0 . Finally divide this relationship into real and image parts, the matrix A
and vector b in (23) are therefore
"
#
"
#
RA0
Rb0
; b
:
A:8
A
IA0
Ib0

316

Z. Sun et al. / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 49 (2014) 302316

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