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1 Introduction For many. An average user may get away with this just fine. Fig. all digital signal processors are based on the similar flow pattern. -1 shows the signal path. However. In this chapter we wish to demonstrate the path of signal from the point it is being measured to the point where the signal is being processed. shows the flowchart of the process. Generally. is treated as a black box for as long as they know what to place at the inputs and what to extract from the outputs.when one should use Hanning and when one should use Flattop. One common situation is to know why different windowing functions are being used . . and on the other hand would be fully aware of its limitations. on one hand able to extract the maximum benefit of the analyser. We would like to surf this area of study touching only on areas that are considered of practical importance from the user point of view. a little peep into this black box would reveal quite a substantial amount of knowledge that allow a user. digital signal processor. Another common situation is to know why one should amplify the input signal level to the maximum offered by the analyser. Fig1. such as an FFT analyser. displayed and stored.

strain Microphone . Fig2a shows some of these sensors.dynamic force c) Eddy current probe – displacement d) Tachometer . Below are some the examples and their respective measuring engineering quantities: a) Accelerometer – acceleration b) Force Transducer . it means that the sensor will output 100mV for 1g of motion it senses. otherwise distortions would occur. The signal is in an analogue form receptive to all types of signal processors.-2a Various sensors . if the sensitivity of an accelerometer is 100 mV/g.2 Transducers This is the point where a signature from a measured specimen begins its journey. For example.sound pressure Sound Intensity Probe – sound intensity For a given of operation. may it be analogue or digital. the electrical quantity has to be proportional to the physical quantity. This constant of proportionality is commonly called sensitivity. A transducer fundamentally converts a physical signal to electrical signal. It is normally described in terms of Volts per Engineering Unit. Microphones Fig. The most popular one is based on piezoelectric where the charge emitted from stressed piezoelectric quartz is proportional to acceleration. The most common sensors used in machine structural dynamics are briefly explained as follows: Accelerometers Force transducers Proximity Probe Pressure Transducer a) Accelerometer Accelerometer is probably one of the most commonly used sensors in vibration analysis.rotational e) Speed f) g) h) i) Thermocouple – temperature Strain Gauge .

Certain accelerometers include an integrator in the circuit so that the output is velocity instead of acceleration. for higher frequency vibration. When monitoring a roll at 60 rpm (1 Hz). 10 mils pp of shaft movement produces only . when using an integrator a high-pass filter is required to eliminate the constant of integration or very low frequency signals. In normal working environment. However. This type of accelerometer requires a power supply of between 2mA and 10mA to power up the charge amplifier. this is probably the neater of the two to work with. However.Basically. manufacturers who traditionally used quartz are now using piezoceramics (PZT) in many of their new accelerometer designs. The limitation with the ICP lies in the environment temperature in which it is placed. Operation over long cables may affect frequency response and introduce noise and distortion when an insufficient current is available to drive cable capacitance. there are two types of piezoelectric accelerometers. Generally. The non-ICP is the traditional accelerometer where it requires an external charge amplifier. shock or transient testing over cables longer than 100 ft. namely the integrated circuit piezoelectric (ICP®) and the non-ICP accelerometer. the possibility of signal distortion exists. The difference is that the ICP has a built-in charge amplifier. . The internal circuitry converts charges (high impedance) emitted from the quartz into voltage (low impedance) and output through the sensor’s casing.). low impedance output well suited for driving long cables through harsh environments. Low frequency accelerometers require very high sensitivity piezoceramics to overcome the electronic noise of the sensor amplifier and monitoring instrument. Some further include a double integrator so that the output will be displacement. as it needs lesser accessories.0005 g of acceleration. Unlike charge mode systems. It is worthwhile to mention here that for a variety of low frequency monitoring applications. These low amplitude levels can approach the electronic noise floor of standard accelerometers. it can sustain temperature up to about 120 0C. this signal distortion is not a problem with lower frequency testing within a range up to 10 000 Hz. Cabling with ICP sensors. ICP® sensors provide a high voltage. As it has built in electronic. (30 m. where the system noise is a function of cable length.

2-20 mA constant current supply. even though the electrical insulation resistance is quite large.b) Force transducer The common transducers for dynamic force are also based on piezoelectric where the charge emitted is proportional to force. shaft Fig. Similar to the accelerometer. The low impedance voltage signal is not affected by triboelectric cable noise or contaminants. In effect. it exists in two types namely the ICP and the non-ICP. The rate at which the charge leaks back to zero is dependent on the lowest insulation resistance path in the sensor. if you apply a static force to a piezoelectric force sensor. the electrostatic charge output initially generated will eventually leak back to zero. Fig. However. cable and the electrical resistance/capacitance of the amplifier used. This is performed with two probes located at 90o to each other to give the orbital motion of the shaft axis while the machine is in operations. 24-27 VDC. the electrostatic charge will eventually leak to zero through the lowest resistance path. This allows for the analysis of shaft related problems such as shaft critical speeds and their related modes.-2c Eddy current probe are placed at 90o to each other to measure the orbit of the centre of the shaft . This is normally called orbit analysis.-2b illustrates the cross-section of a typical quartz force sensor ICP Low Impedance Quartz Force Sensors ICP force sensors incorporate a built-in MOSFET microelectronic amplifier to convert the high impedance charge output into a low impedance voltage signal for recording. as shown in Fig. powered from a separate constant current source. Power to operate ICP sensors is generally in the form of a low cost. For Dynamic and not Static force Measurements The quartz crystals of a piezoelectric force sensor generate an electrostatic charge only when force is applied to or removed from them. operate over long ordinary coaxial or ribbon cable without signal degradation. ICP sensors.-2b. c) Eddy current probe (proximity probe) Eddy current or commonly called proximity probe is mainly used in rotor dynamics to study the motion (displacements) of shaft axis. Many data acquisition systems now incorporate constant current power for directly powering ICP sensors. The impact hammer used in modal analysis is basically a hammer with a force transducer. fixed at the hammerhead.

d) Tachometer Tachometer is used to measure the speed of a rotating component such as a shaft and also used as trigger for synchronising data acquisition.cracks. namely. the fibre-optical and eddy current as in proximity probe. For fibre optic type it requires a reflector while the eddy current type requires a notch on the shaft. . In both cases it measures pulses generated from a marker mounted on the rotating shaft. There are two type commonly used. whirl and whip problem of journal bearings.

-3. is the operating range where the response is linear. In most cases.1 Linearity Range For sensitivity to remain constant. Also.-2.globalspec. The transducer’s transducers.e. distance. It conditions the signal from the transducer into voltage proportional to the measured physical quantity and transmits it.-3b The transducer’s Linearity Range Fig. the sensitivity remains constant. Fig. All transducers have their respective electronic signal conditioning units associated with each of them. these units are sometimes used to provide .com/ProductFinder/Sensors_Transducers_Detectors Linearity Range. etc. etc. temperature. as shown in Fig. 3 Signal Conditioner & Amplifier After leaving the transducer. Linearity can be affected by frequency. transducers generate analogue signals (voltage or current) not conducive for transmission over the cable length.-3a Deviation from linearity affected by frequency. i. the signal is conditioned in order to minimise noise during transmission and error during digitisation process. temperature. Related are websites: transducers required to operate within http://sensorsits linearity range.

-4. or 1000Hz. what is the highest frequency contained in the signal to be sampled? . Fig. the wagon wheels appear to be slowing down and eventually turning in the opposite direction.Nyquist’s Sampling Theorem For example. the data need to be sampled at least 1000 times per second. A classic example of such happening is when we are in front of our television screen watching a cowboy wagon moving off from its station. meaning that these components will appear to have frequencies lower than their true values. the sampling frequency must be at least two times the highest frequency present in the data . The question is. As mentioned earlier.power-supply to the transducer. As indicated in Fig. any signal can be accurately reconstructed from values sampled at uniform intervals as long as it is sampled at a rate at least twice the highest frequency present in the signal. We would observe that as the wagon speeds up. it has signal conditioner and amplifier built into the units. -4 Effect of aliasing --1 Nyquist’s Sampling Theorem According to the Sampling Theorem. 4 Aliasing Aliasing is a phenomenon where high frequency components are shifted to a lower frequency. if the data contains data up to a maximum of 500Hz. It occurs when converting analogue (continuous) data to digital (discrete) data. This is because the supposedly continuous moving images are in reality made up of discrete frames being scanned at a certain rates per second. which produces an inaccurate representation of data. Failure to satisfy this requirement will result in aliasing of higher-frequency components. in ICP transducers.

-6. by a digital signal processor (DSP). This is the point where the analogue form of the signal and the digital form begins. a nti-aliasing filters are low-pass filters whose cut-off frequencies are set at or below onehalf of the sampling frequency. if the sampling frequency is 1000Hz. -5. as shown in Fig. to remove any frequency components above the "folding" or Nyquist frequency (half the sampling frequency). The time between two sampling points is called sampling period Ts and the sampling frequency fs is the inverse of Ts. However. if you need to work on a signal within a frequency range of 400Hz. as described in Fig. which convert analog input signals into digital form for processing. prior to the sampling stage.-5 Anti-aliasing filter characteristics 5 Sample and Hold & Analogue to Digital Converter After the signal is anti-aliased. In many cases.-5. say. in selecting the frequency range . Fig. in a real filter. fr. Such anti-aliasing filters are commonly built into the analog interface chips and codecs.--2 Anti-Aliasing Filter One way of avoiding the problem of aliasing is to apply a low-pass filter to the signal. fs has to be at least 1000Hz or 1000 sample per second. Hence. you need a low pass anti-aliasing filter of around 500Hz. the cut-off characteristic is rather tapered as shown in Fig.-6ends Selecting frequency range . these anti-aliasing filters are implemented using conventional analog circuitry. . For example. a Sample and Hold circuit acquires and stores the analogue voltage on a capacitor for a short period of time Fig. and your sampling frequency. then it will require a low-pass filter of cut-off frequency of 500Hz or less. This storage time will allow the continuous analogue signal to be digitised into discrete time series digital signal. Hence.

Fig.-7 Digitisation of continuous analogue signal Amplitudes are normally displayed on either linear or logarithmic dB scale Linear scale can be converted to logarithmic dB scale by the formula: dB 20log10 V Vref The idea of presenting a spectrum in dB scale is to compress the low and high amplitudes so as that they could be easily visualised in a single display. Fig. It is affected by a number of components namely: 1) ADC resolution (linearity and bits) 2) Input amplifier noise floor 3) Anti-aliasing filter performance 4) DSP chip performance A 16-bit ADC will discretise the amplitude range of the signal to a resolution of 65536 grid.-8. In most FFT analyser there is a function called ‘Auto-ranging’ where the analyser will automatically amplify the input signal to utilise these grids to the maximum. is defined as the ratio between the largest and smallest signals that can be analysed at the same time.65536 grid 6 Dynamic Range The dynamic range.-8 Dynamic range . as shown in Fig.

in many cases cannot be visualise or interpreted effectively. as shown in Fig.-12 Windowing process 10 Windowing Windowing is a process of ‘forcing’ the end points of a time frame to zero. 10. Windowing is a process of ‘forcing’ the end points of a time frame to zero.5. -8. As a result.1. 9 Leakage The requirement of FFT is that the signal has to be periodic or infinitely long. This not too much of concerned for high amplitude distinct peaks but may affect the visibility of two close frequency components. This phenomenon is known as leakage.-12 Fig. data processing is performed digitally. One common way is to use Fourier Transform to perform this task. To overcome this. Max. RMS. For a time frame. From hereon. energy leaks out of one line to all the other lines. Hence. for example. Std. from acceleration to velocity Differentiation Band-pass Filtering Statistical operation. This does not happen in practice. as described in Section 2. Average. Deviation.1 Types Of Windowing Functions Fig.1 Fast Fourier Transform The algorithm for Fast Fourier Transformation is derived from Discrete Fourier Transformation.-13a Frequency resolution for Hanning and Flat top windows . The signal can then be: 1) Displayed on digital screen 2) Stored in disk or 3) Further digitally processed There a) b) c) d) are various treatments that can be performed on the time series including: Integration. this implies that the signal has to start at zero and to end its number of cycles at zero. Min. but at the expense of broadening the bandwidth. Zooming the spectrum can be performed to overcome this. Variance e) Arithmetic f) Logical 8 Transforming from Time Domain To Frequency Domain A signal normally consists of many frequency components superimposed.7 Time Domain After ADC the continuous time signal are discretised into sequence of values commonly known as Discrete Time Series. we utilise windowing functions. This will get rid of the leakage. There is a requirement to decompose the signal into its various frequency components. for example.

These are shown in Figs. the common ones used.13a. b and c. Flat Top gives broader band shape but maximum amplitude error of 1%(0. especially in our scope of work. The choice depends on the results required. an exponential window is being used to suppress the tail end of the response to zero.-13c Amplitude error for Flat Top Fig. in low damped structure.13d.5. For this.-13d Rectangular windows on impulse and fast decaying response signals and exponential window on slow decaying response . Rectangular and exponential windows are normally used in modal analysis. However.1dB).There are a number of window functions developed. Hanning gives narrow band shape but maximum amplitude errors of 16%(1. are: a) Hanning b) Flat Top c) Exponential d) Rectangular Hanning and flattop windows are used mainly for steady-stead signals. Fig. as shown in Fig. Typical example of these signals is obtained from the impulse of force transducer and the response from the accelerometer for a highly damped structure.5dB). it takes a long time for the response to decay to zero. namely for impulse and response signals. Here.-13b Amplitude error for Hanning Fig. the signal decays to zero before reaching the end of the time record. Rectangular windows are used for signals that start and end at zero.

However. the operation is no longer real time. For as long as the FFT processing time is shorter than the time record. FFT processing time is longer than the time record. the operation is real-time as the FFT processing time is shorter than the time record. the FFT processing time is reduced allowing for the real-time operation at higher frequency range. The length of time record depends on the sampling frequency. In FFT analysis. time series have to be collected into time record of n samples before it can be processed. than there will be no loss of information. It can therefore be seen that at lower frequency range settings. Fig. implying high sampling frequencies. implying lower sampling frequencies. Hence.11 Real-Time Bandwidth Real Time operation can be described as a data processing with no loss of information between input and output. This is shown diagrammatically in Fig.-1With the speed of computers rapidly increasing. at higher frequency range setting.-14 Real and Non-Real Time operation . This results in loss of a portion of input time series. the time record becomes shorter.

We can fill up the current time record with part of the preceding record so that the FFT operation can be re-initiated immediately after completing the preceding cycle. especially when performing averaging of low frequency range spectrum where the time record is longer due to inevitable lower sampling frequency. These include: a) Auto-correlation b) Cross-correlation d) Transfer Function e) Coherence f) Auto Power Spectrum and Spectral Density g) Cross Power Spectrum and Spectral Density .12 Overlapping Processing At a lower frequency range. Single channel analysis is sometimes termed as signal analysis that includes: a) Forward FFT b) Inverse FFT c) Waterfall Spectrum d) Colour Intensity Waterfall Spectrum Dual or multi-channel analysis is sometimes termed as system analysis that involved the study of input-output relationships.-15 Overlapping Frequency Domain Analysis consists of single channel analysis and dual or multi-channel analysis. Fig. This is aimed at reducing the processing time. This process is termed as overlapping. we need not wait for the time record to complete collecting the n required samples before performing the FFT operation.

such as: a) Handheld analyser b) PC-based analyser c) Desktop analyser Most of them have at least two channels – minimal required for system analysis.-16b PC-based FFT analyser . as most are us are quite familiar with the intuitive flow of Windows™ environment. The PC-based analyser normally comes with an external DSP unit and is normally linked to the PC using PCMCIA card.13 FFT Analysers Fundamentally.-1. all FFT analysers in the market consist of hardware and software to perform the flowchart processes as shown in Fig. They come in different configurations to suit different applications. Fig. 3) Provide easy learning curve. In most analysers. The data can be transferred from one program or hardware to another quite easily for further processing or for report generation. the input terminal has the capability to generate the bias current to power up the ICP accelerometer and impact hammer. The speed of current PC is sufficiently fast that we do not need the dedicated FFT microprocessor chip. The advantages of having a PC based analyser running in Microsoft ® Windows environment includes: 1) Portability of data. Where the system require software upgrading it can be quite easily done without having to take the unit back to the factory. 2) Easy upgrading.-16a Handheld FFT analyser Fig.

For a 1/3is constant and equal to 1/T.-16c analysers Desktop FFT analyser with accelerometer and impact hammer used in Modal analysis 14 Field Tips .-17 shows typical specification sheets of an ICP accelerometer. General accelerometers would tend to attenuate at frequencies below 2Hz. The fact of the matter is that both differ in software as well as in hardware usage. FFT Analyser Generally used for steady-state signature such as constant speed machine vibration Digital Frequency Analyser Generally used in situation where there is a rapid change in the signature such as vocal sound pressure Each sample of time series is processed once it is available. near to DC (0Hz) one has to pay more attention to the low limit in the specification. It is most suited for general machine and structural vibration. where T octave spectrum each bandwidth is is the period of record 33% of its centre frequency. and in most application much less than that. Requires a complete collection of record of n samples of time series before it is transformed into frequency domain Generate a spectrum of linear Generate a spectrum of constant frequency axis where the bandwidth percentage bandwidth.1 FFT Analyser versus Digital Frequency Analyser The difference between these two types of analysers has been a confusing affair and many engineers has mistakenly regarded both as one of the same kind. b) Linearity Range Machine structure upper frequency response would not exceed 20kHz. In application where the low vibration is sought. hence generating minimum error.e. Uses Discrete Fourier Transform Uses a series of digital filtering algorithm operation Table -1 Comparison between FFT and Digital FrequencyFig. The table -1 below summarises the differences between the two.13. Among other things. . The voltage generated is well within the range to take full advantage of the Analogue to Digital converter in the FFT analyser. one would go for a higher sensitivity. in special application where one would desire seek response at low frequency i. one would like to pay attention to the following: a) Sensitivity Probably the most commonly used sensitivity is 100mV/g. However.Instrument Specification -1-1 Accelerometers Fig.

a Window-based analyser is capable of displaying at least 8 traces at a time. One is advised not to entirely rely on the specification chart given by the analyser’s maker.c) Power requirement Most analysers’ inputs have a constant current supply for ICP accelerometer as well as for microphones. depending on one’s location. 15 Review . One must ensure that the post-processing software can read data from the analyser with minimal hassle. y. f) Portability versus Display functions One needs to define the use of the analyser before purchasing one. Hand held unit normally comes with an LCD display and limits the number of traces displayed at one time. such a unit normally sacrificed the display capabilities. This is good enough for a most mechanical vibration signature. It makes life in the field much easier when one does not have to handle with too many cable connections and accessories. but to have a complete article describing a case study that made use of the software with an analyser. g) Compatibility with the post-processing software such as modal analysis and ODS analysis software This is crucial. If one needs to carry the unit up and down an 8-storey structure then one would obviously go for a light.-18 show typical specification sheets of an FFT analyser. one would be recommended to purchase an accelerometer with a simple BNC connection. and z direction response. b) Frequency range Maximum frequency of 20kHz is all we need for mechanical vibration. one can perform the measurement in one-third the time if one were to use just two channels. one can use the first channel as input and the other 3 channels for the x. Among other things. On the other hand. Flattop. one would like to pay attention to the following: a) Dynamic range Most analysers have a dynamic range about 90dB when using a 16-bit AD converter. and Exponential (Response) windows. BNC terminated cable are normally easy to obtain. for the purpose of easy availability. d) Number of channels A four-channel unit would be quite an asset if you were concern with the length of data collection. c) ICP output Although most analyser today comes with the constant current supply. battery powered handheld unit. Microdot connection requires microdot cables. d) Output connection and cabling In 2-pin connection. However. In modal analysis. it is worthwhile to ensure this before purchasing one. e) Windowing functions The minimum windowing functions should be the Hanning. In cases where one has to use a 3-pin connection. Force. It is worthwhile to check one’s analyser before purchasing the ICP unit. then one has no choice but to use cable terminals as specified by manufacturer. -1-2 FFT Analysers Fig. which is slightly hard to seek. For ODS one can use the first channel as the stationary point input. In situation when the cable gets faulty. In this way.

. Today. modal analysis can be performed on a complex structure in a plant with equipment that can be carried in a briefcase. The size and speed of processors have allowed advanced analysis to be performed on site. When analogue analysers were used. and has been time consuming. it was normally possible to carry out analysis in the laboratory.Digital signal processing has been a breakthrough in providing an instrumentation solution to vibration analysis.

-17 Typical FFT specification sheet Fig.Fig.-17 Typical accelerometer specification sheet .