Impulsive sound and vibration signals in gears are often associated with faults which result from impacting and as such these impulsive signals can be used as indicators of faults. However it is often difficult to make objective measurements of impulsive signals because of background noise signals. In order to ease the measurement of impulsive sounds embedded in background noise, it is proposed that the impulsive signals are enhanced, via a two stage ALE (Adaptive Line Enhancer), and that these enhanced signals are then analyzed in the time and frequency domains using a Wigner higher order time-frequency representation. The effectiveness of this technique is demonstrated by application to gear fault data.

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