Unbalance detection in rotor systems with active bearings using self-sensing piezoelectric actuators

Ramakrishnan Ambur*, Stephan Rinderknecht

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Machines which are developed today are highly automated due to increased use of mechatronic systems. To ensure their reliable operation, fault detection and isolation (FDI) is an important feature along with a better control. This research work aims to achieve and integrate both these functions with minimum number of components in a mechatronic system. This article investigates a rotating machine with active bearings equipped with piezoelectric actuators. There is an inherent coupling between their electrical and mechanical properties because of which they can also be used as sensors. Mechanical deflection can be reconstructed from these self-sensing actuators from measured voltage and current signals. These virtual sensor signals are utilised to detect unbalance in a rotor system. Parameters of unbalance such as its magnitude and phase are detected by parametric estimation method in frequency domain. Unbalance location has been identified using hypothesis of localization of faults. Robustness of the estimates against outliers in measurements is improved using weighted least squares method. Unbalances are detected in a real test bench apart from simulation using its model. Experiments are performed in stationary as well as in transient case. As a further step unbalances are estimated during simultaneous actuation of actuators in closed loop with an adaptive algorithm for vibration minimisation. This strategy could be used in systems which aim for both fault detection and control action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-86
Number of pages15
JournalMechanical Systems and Signal Processing
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Active bearings
  • Fault diagnosis
  • Piezoelectric actuators
  • Rotor systems
  • Self-sensing
  • Unbalance detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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