A high performance rig designed to test gears (materials and geometries) in extreme load and speed conditions as in aerospace applications was used to test diagnostic systems by the only vibration analysis. The authors of the present report have implemented, in addition to some standard signal analysis techniques, some advanced methodologies (e.g. NA4, NB4), which are applied to the synchronously averaged signal to detect the smallest fault related variations in the tested gear vibration signature. The different techniques have been tested and compared on the signals of a gear that underwent failure, showing the good performance of the latter approaches compared to the more conventional ones. A numerical simulation of the gear meshing was carried out to support the experimental campaign and the benchmarking of the diagnostic tools. The stiffness computed by a FEM code was employed to simulate the gear system dynamic behavior with a lumped model, which was finally tuned using the experimental signals, to obtain indications on the crack evolution.

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