Rotor stability is most commonly estimated using methods derived from a simple single degree of freedom system. When the modes of more complex systems, such as rotors, are closely spaced, we demonstrate that such methods can yield very poor estimates of the modal stability (damping ratio). Multiple output backward autoregression (MOBAR) is proposed as an alternative approach and is demonstrated to yield reasonably accurate estimates of modal damping even when modes are closely spaced. The performance of the MOBAR approach is then examined on an experimental rotor in tilt-pad bearings, demonstrating good performance in a realistic measurement setting.

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