The decomposition of gear motion and the related dynamic measurements for the condition monitoring and fault diagnosis of gearboxes are described. The motion error signal is separated according to fundamental frequencies into the harmonic error and the residual error, which are used to quantify the gear condition. High-order accelerations, such as jerk, are considered and shown to be more sensitive to some classes of early damage to gear teeth. Analysis of the time domain average of a gearbox casing vibration signal enables early detection of gear damage. Several methods to represent and enhance the fault information in the signal are introduced, based on the representation of different forms of the motion errors.

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