A method is presented for the extraction of rolling bearings characteristics (stiffness and damping) under operating conditions. The method is based on experimental modal analysis combined with a mathematical model of the rotor-bearings-support system. The method has been applied for the investigation of the effect of speed, preload, and free outer race bearings on system stiffness and damping. The method proves to be very accurate for stiffness determination and reasonably so for damping.

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