The rotordynamic performance of API 617 standards provides two primary requirements. First, the standard stipulates system damping near the expected operating speed range. Second, the standard requires a specific bound of the worst case unbalance response. The problem this poses for machine designers is 1) feasibility: can bearings be designed for a given rotor to meet API 617 and 2) if so, how can these bearings be designed? Our primary effort in this research is to convert the API requirements to a control design objective for a bearing. This permits direct assessment of the feasible design problem as well as providing a means to synthesize optimal bearing dynamics. In addition to providing synthesis of magnetic bearings, the resulting bearing transfer functions give direct guidance to selection of more conventional fluid film or rolling element bearings.

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