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SCIENTIFIC BULLETIN OF
THE POLITEHNICA UNIVERSITY OF TIMISOARA, ROMANIA
TRANSACTIONS ON MECHANICS
BULETINUL TIINIFIC AL
UNIVERSITII POLITEHNICA DIN TIMIOARA, ROMNIA
SERIA MECANIC
Tom 53 (67) ISSN 1224 - 6077 Fasc. z, 2008
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IDENTIFICATION OF A MODIFIED VAN DER POL
VIBRATING SYSTEM
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Dan Viorel STNESCU
*
, Prof. PhD. Eng. Liviu BERETEU
**
, Prof. PhD. Gheorghe Eugen
DRGNESCU
***
*
Department of Mechanics, Polytechnic University of Timioara, Bd. M. Viteazul, Nr. 1, 300222 - Timioara,
Romania, e-mail: dstanescu17@gmail.com
**
e-mail: bereteu@mec.upt.ro
***
e-mail: ghed@mec.upt.ro
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Abstract. In this paper it is presented the use of harmonic balance method to the parameter identification of nonlinear
vibrating systems. Finally the method is applied to identify the parameters of a modified van der Pol oscillator from
periodic vibrations.
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Keywords: nonlinear, vibrations, van der Pol, identification, harmonic balance, periodic solution
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1. Introduction
This paper shows an application to system
identification using the harmonic balance method.
This is a frequency domain identification method
which we use in this paper on a modified van der
Pol forced vibrating system [1,2]. This kind of
system has a strong non-linear behaviour.
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2. Problem description
The system is described by the equation
[3,4]:
t F x kx x x x m sin sin ) 1 (
0
2
+ + +
(1)
where and are positive parameters, m is the
system mass, k is the elastic constant, F
0
is the
amplitude of the disturbing force and is the
pulse of this force.
While developing in Fourier series all the
terms of the equation (1) and segregating the
equation for the same order terms in cos(kt) an
sin(kt), we obtain for the constant term:
0
0 0 0
+ + e k a c (2)
and for k=1 the relations for cos and sin terms:
0
1 1 1 1
2
+ + + e k a c m a (3)
0 1 1 1 1
2
F f k b d m b + + + (4)
for k > 1:
0
2 2
+ + +
k k k k
e k a c m a k (5)
0
2 2
+ + +
k k k k
f k b d m b k (6)
We can build an equation system
introducing the column matrix of the coefficients
to be identified and the n x 1 matrix:

'

'

0
...
0
0
0
,
0
F
F
k
m
X

(7)
and also the n x 4 matrix:

'

n n n n
n n n n
f b d b k
e a c a k
f b d b
e a c a
f b d b
e a c a
e a c
A
2 2
2 2
2 2 2 2
2
2 2 2 2
2
1 1 1 1
2
1 1 1 1
2
0 0 0
... ... ... ...
4
4
0

(8)
The identification equation is:
AX = F (9)
which is overdetermined.
Exists two ways to solve the equation:
a) we build a 4 x 4 type A matrix for lines 1,2,3
and a line where spectra component has a
significant size. In this case the solution is:
F A X
1

(10)
b) as overdetermined system, in the case that
many harmonic components are significant. We
will build the matrices with these components, the
solution being:
) ( ) (
1
F A A A X
t t
(11)
where A
t
is the transposed A.
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3. Method and results
In order to verify the method, instead of
real van der Pol system response, we will
numerically solve the equation (1), for given
values of the parameters m, , k, and for known
disturbing force amplitude F
0
and pulsation .
The solving was made in Mathcad using the
Runge-Kutta method.
We choose the parameters:
m=1 kg, =1 s/m
3
, k=40 N/m, =5 N
and also:
F
0
=50 N, =1 Hz, =6.283 s
-1
.
The solution was set in N points in time
interval t [0,T], with a sampling frequency

,
where:
N=10001, t[0,T], T=100 s,

=(N-1)/T=100 Hz.
The following figures presents the
elongation diagram, speed diagram, acceleration
diagram, elastic force sin(x(t)) diagram, and
damping force (x
2
(t)-1)v(t) diagram:
Figure 1 x(t) diagram
Figure 2 v(t) diagram
Figure 3 a(t) diagram
Figure 4 sin(x(t)) diagram
2
Figure 5 (x
2
(t)-1)v(t) diagram
We will denote the Fourier transforms of
the next signals:
X()=F{x(t)}
V()=F{v(t)}
A()=F{a(t)}
S()=F{sinx(t)}
D()=F{(x
2
(t)-1)v(t)}
which are complex functions. In the next figures
are represented the real and imaginary parts of
those functions. From the spectra inspection we
observe that exists continuous components,
corresponding to free response of the system and
some spectral lines corresponding to the forced or
harmonic response. To be denoted that the
excitation force has the frequency =1 Hz, while
in the spectra appears lines corresponding to odd
harmonics 3, 5, ...
Figure 6 Real X()
Figure 7 Imaginary X()
Figure 8 Real V()
Figure 9 Imaginary V()
Figure 10 Real A()
Figure 11 Imaginary A()
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Figure 12 Real S()
Figure 13 Imaginary S()
Figure 14 Real D()
Figure 15 Imaginary D()
Because the spectra are containing
continuous components, to solve the identification
equation (9), these components are not taken from
spectra. The Fourier coefficients was computed
from the next relations in discrete form, using the
last periods of the signals, from which the non-
periodic components of the free response are
missing:

T
k
dt t k t x
T
a
0
) cos( ) (
1
k=0,...,n

T
k
dt t k t x
T
b
0
) sin( ) (
1
k=1,...,n


T
k
dt t k t x t x
T
c
0
2
) cos( ) ( ) 1 ) ( (
1

k=0,...,n


T
k
dt t k t x t x
T
d
0
2
) sin( ) ( ) 1 ) ( (
1

k=1,...,n

T
k
dt t k t x
T
e
0
) cos( )) ( sin(
1
k=0,...,n

T
k
dt t k t x
T
f
0
) sin( )) ( sin(
1
k=1,...,n
The values are presented in:
Table 1
n 0 1 3 5
an -
0.0003462
-1.8093387 0.0296120 0.00929345
bn 0 -
0.0528224
6
0.10576129 -0.0051819
cn 0.0031465 1.4034119 7.5567196 9.6587449
dn 25.389328 0 33.357766 -4.6354059
en 3.814791e-
5
-0.091243 0.379099 -0.10385
fn 0 -0.072367 -0.0027944 -0.0575653
We can restrain the equation system to the
form:
1
1
1
1
1
]
1

3 3 3 3
2 2
3 3 3 3
2 2
1 1 1 1
2
1 1 1 1
2
3
3
f b d b
e a c a
f b d b
e a c a
A

'

k
m
X

'

0
0
0
0
F
F
4
Using F
0
=25 and the values in Table 1
results:
Table 2
m k
0.9990379 0.9990576 39.9788731 4.89893907
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4. Conclusions
The results are very close to the initial
parameters of the system.
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Acknowledgement
This work was partially supported by the
strategic grant POSDRU 6/1.5/S/13, (2008) of the
Ministry of Labor, Family and Social Protection,
Romania, co-financed by the European Social
Fund - Investing in People.
References
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1. Belendez, A., Hernandez, T.: Application of the
harmonic balance method to a nonlinear oscillator
typified by a mass attached to a stretched wire.
Journal of Sound and Vibration, 302, February
2007, p.1018-1029, ISSN: 0022-460X, Elsevier
2. Mickens, R.: Investigation of the properties of the
period for the nonlinear oscillator. Journal of Sound
and Vibration, 292, May 2006, p.1031-1035, ISSN:
0022-460X, Elsevier
3. Marinca, V., Draganescu, G.: Construction of
approximate periodic solutions to a modified van der
Pol oscillator. Nonlinear Analysis: Real World
Applications, Vol. 11, Issue 5, October 2010,
p.4355-4362, ISSN: 1468-1218, Elsevier
4. Mickens, R.,: Truly Nonlinear Oscillations. World
Scientific, ISBN: 981-4291-65-X, Singapore, 2010
5. Alwyn, S.,: Encyclopedia of Nonlinear Science.
Taylor & Francis, ISBN: 1-57958-385-7, New
York,2005
6. Peng, Z., Lang, Z., Billings, S., Tomlinson, G.:
Comparisons between harmonic balance and
nonlinear output frequency response function in
nonlinear system analysis. Journal of Sound and
Vibration, Vol. 311, Issues 1-2, March 2008, p.56-
73, ISSN: 0022-460X, Elsevier
Identificarea unui sistem vibrant de tip van der
Pol modificat
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Rezumat
In acest articol este prezentata metoda balantei
armonice la identificarea parametrilor sistemelor
vibrante neliniare. In final metoda este aplicata la
identificarea parametrilor unui oscillator van der Pol
modificat din vibratii periodice.
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Scientific reviewers: Ioan BICA
*
, West University of Timisoara
Adrian CHIRIAC
**
, Polytechnic University of Timisoara
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