This paper presents a method for identifying the free-free modes of a structure by utilizing the vibration data of the same structure with boundary conditions. In modal formulations for flexible body dynamics, modal data are primary known quantities that are obtained either experimentally or analytically. The vibration measurements may be obtained for a flexible body that is constrained differently than its boundary conditions in a multibody system. For a flexible body model in a multibody system, depending upon the formulation used, we may need a set of free-free modal data or a set of constrained modal data. If a finite element model of the flexible body is available, its vibration data can be obtained analytically under any desired boundary conditions. However, if a finite element model is not available, the vibration data may be determined experimentally. Since experimentally measured vibration data are obtained for a flexible body supported by some form of boundary conditions, we may need to determine its free-free vibration data. The aim of this study is to extract, based on experimentally obtained vibration data, the necessary free-free frequencies and the associated modes for flexible bodies to be used in multibody formulations. The available vibration data may be obtained for a structure supported either by springs or by fixed boundary conditions. Furthermore, the available modes may be either a complete set; i.e., as many modes as the number of degrees of freedom of the associated FE model is available, or it can be an incomplete set.

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