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This paper presents a new signature for detection of rotor faults in induction motors, such as eccentricity and broken rotor bars, that uses the external magnetic field analysis. The proposed method is based on the variations of axial flux density in the presence of these faults. The low frequency part of the magnetic field spectrum is particularly analyzed. The analysis is realized through a machine modeling based on permeance circuit under eccentricity fault and also by machine modeling based on coupled magnetic circuit theory under broken rotor bars fault. Analytical relations which describe the machine operation under broken bars fault highlight the influence of speed variation to modify the low frequency components of the external magnetic field. The theoretical results have been validated by experimental measurements. In particular, an inverse stator cage induction machine have been used to measure the bar currents under healthy and faulty cases.