A rotational model of planetary gears is developed which incorporates mesh stiffness variation and input speed fluctuations. Gear mesh stiffness is approximated by rectangle wave and different harmonic orders are considered. Because of speed fluctuations, the mesh stiffness is frequency modulated. The parametric instability associated with frequency-modulated time-varying stiffness is numerically investigated. The operating conditions leading to parametric instability are identified using Floquet theory and numerical integration. Whether the general laws derived for steady speed to suppress particular instabilities are applicable for fluctuating speed is verified. The effects of speed fluctuations on parametric instability are examined.

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