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Mechatronics 13 (2003) 10671089

Design of computer controlled


combustion engines
Rolf Isermann *, Norbert M
uller
Laboratory of Control Systems and Process Automation, Institute of Automatic Control,
Darmstadt University of Technology, Landgraf-Georg-Str. 4, D-64283 Darmstadt, Germany

Abstract
Globalization and growing new markets, as well as increasing emission and fuel consumption requirements, force the car manufacturers and their suppliers to develop new engine
control strategies in shorter time periods. This can mainly be reached by development tools
and an integrated hardware and software environment enabling rapid implementation and
testing of advanced engine control algorithms.
The structure of a rapid control prototyping (RCP) system is explained, which allows fast
measurement signal evaluation, and rapid prototyping of advanced engine control algorithms.
A hardware-in-the-loop simulator for diesel engine control design is illustrated, simulation
results for a 40 tons truck are presented. Providing ecient engine models for the proposed
development tools, a dynamic local linear neural network approach is explained and applied
for modelling the NOx emission characteristics of a 1.9 l direct injection diesel engine. Furthermore the application of a RCP system is exemplied by the application of combustion
pressure based closed-loop ignition timing control for a SI engine. Experimental results are
shown for a 1.0 l SI engine on a dynamic engine test stand.
 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Computer-aided control system design; Computer-aided testing; Engine control; Identication;
Engine modelling; Learning systems; Feedforward control

1. Introduction
The last two decades in the automotive industry have seen an ever-increasing
usage of electronics. In the middle 1970s car manufacturers introduced microprocessor-based engine control systems to meet state regulations and customer demands
*

Corresponding author. Tel.: +49-6151-162114; fax: +49-6151-293445.


E-mail addresses: risermann@iat.tu-darmstadt.de (R. Isermann), norbert.mueller4@de.bosch.com
(N. M
uller).
0957-4158/$ - see front matter  2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/S0957-4158(03)00043-6

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of high fuel economy, low emissions, best possible engine performance and ride
comfort. Especially the American regulations (clean air act 1963, on-board diagnosis
(OBD I 1988, OBD II 1994)) and the corresponding European regulations EURO 1
(1992), EURO 2 (1996), EURO 3 (2000) had a considerable eect on the development of new engine control methods. New sensors with electrical output and new
actuators had to be developed. Also auxiliary units like electro-mechanical controlled carburetors, low pressure injection systems for SI engines, and high pressure
injection systems for diesel engines have shown a development from pure mechanical
to electro-mechanical devices with electronic control. New actuators were added like
for exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), camshaft positioning and variable geometry
turbochargers (VTG). Todays combustion engines are completely microcomputer
controlled with many actuators (e.g. electrical, electro-mechanical, electro-hydraulic
or electro-pneumatic actuators, inuencing spark timing, fuel-injector pulse widths,
exhaust gas recirculation valves), several measured output variables (e.g. pressures,
temperatures, engine rotational speed, air mass ow, camshaft position, oxygenconcentration of the exhaust gas), taking into account dierent operating phases (e.g.
start-up, warming-up, idling, normal operation, overrun, shut down). The microprocessor-based control has grown up to a rather complicated control unit with 50
120 look-up tables, relating about 15 measured inputs and about 30 manipulated
variables as outputs. Because many output variables like torque and emission concentrations are mostly not available as measurements (too costly or short life time) a
majority of control functions is feedforward.
In the future increasing computational capabilities using oating point processors will allow advanced estimation techniques for non-measurable quantities like
engine torque or exhaust gas properties and precise feedforward and feedback
control over large ranges and with small tolerances. New electronically controlled
actuators and new sensors entail additional control functions for new engine
technologies (VTG turbo chargers, swirl control, dynamic manifold pressure,
variable valve timing (VVT) of inlet valves, combustion pressure based engine
control).
The following chapter gives an overview on engine control structures of state-ofthe-art SI and diesel engines. Modern development and testing tools applied for
engine control algorithms are outlined in Section 3. Sections 4 and 5 explain in more
detail some basics and the structure of rapid control prototyping (RCP) and hardware-in-the-loop simulation, respectively. Section 6 is devoted to modelling techniques using local linear neural networks, since ecient process modelling is a
fundamental prerequisite for all of the proposed development tools. The last chapter
explains a combustion pressure based ignition control system as a sophisticated
application example for a RCP system.

2. Control structure for internal combustion engines: state-of-the-art


Modern IC engines increasingly involve more actuating elements. SI engines
haveexcept the classical inputs like amount of injection minj , ignition angle hign ,

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injection angle hinj additionally controlled air/fuel ratio, EGR and VVT, see Fig. 1.
The location of sensors and actuators are shown in Fig. 2.
Diesel engines were until 1987 only manipulated by injection mass and injection
angle. Now they have additional manipulated inputs like EGR, variable geometry
turbochargers, common rail pressure and modulated injection, see Fig. 3.

Fig. 1. Simplied control structure of a SI engine.

Fig. 2. Location of sensors and actuators of a SI engine (all of them except cylinder pressure sensors are
state-of-the-art in current engine control units).

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Fig. 3. Simplied control structure of a diesel engine with turbocharger.

The engine control system has therefore to be designed for 510 main manipulated variables and 58 main output variables, leading to a complex nonlinear
multiple-input multiple-output system. Because some of the design requirements
contradict each other suitable compromises have to be made. Since the majority of
control functions are realized by feedforward structures, precise models are required.
Feedback control is used in the case of SI engines for example for the k-control
(keeping a stoichiometric relative air/fuel ratio k 1 for best conversion eciency of
the catalytic converter), for the electronic throttle control and for the ignition angle
in case of knock. Diesel engines with turbochargers possess a charging pressure
control with waste gate or variable vanes and speed overrun break away. Both
engines have idling speed control and coolant water temperature control. Additionally, there are several auxiliary closed-loop controls like fuel pressure control and
oil pressure control. All control functions have to be dened and tested for all
possible operating phases.
Most feedforward control functions are implemented as grid-based two-dimensional (i.e. two input signals) look-up tables or as one-dimensional characteristics.
This is because of the strongly nonlinear static and dynamic behavior of the IC
engines and the direct programming and fast processing in microprocessors with
xed point arithmetics. Some of the functions are based on physical models with
correction factors, but many control functions can only be obtained by systematic
experiments on dynamometers and with vehicles.

3. Development tools for engine control systems


Without appropriate tools for the design, implementation, and testing of new
engine control algorithms, the tight schedules in the development process of engine

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Fig. 4. Design and simulation steps for ECU function development of internal combustion engines [14].

Fig. 5. Simulation methods for the development of ECU functions.

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control systems cannot be met anymore. Especially in the automotive industry, the
concurrent design of engine, body and electronics requires ecient development
methods. In this context the simulation increasingly plays an important role in all
steps of the development process, [5]. Fig. 4 shows the employment of simulation
techniques for the design and testing of engine control unit (ECU) functions. As in
many cases basic ECU functions are already existing, this case is considered. Depending on the application and the development stage, the following simulation
methods can be used, Fig. 5:
Software-in-the-loop simulation (SiL): In the rst step of the function development some basic analysis has to be done to develop the control structure and
actuator conguration. A sucient method is the software-in-the-loop simulation, where a software version of the control function is tested with the simulated
process.

Fig. 6. Simulation system family for software-in-the-loop, control prototyping and HiL.

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Rapid control prototyping (RCP): The control prototyping is used to test the
new control function together with the real already existing control unit and
the simulated or the real process. In contrast to the software-in-the-loop simulation, only a selected subset of the ECU functions is realized as a special software
implementation. Only these interesting parts are calculated on a real-time computer system in a bypass mode to the real ECU, Fig. 5.
Hardware-in-the-loop simulation (HiL): After the target code generation of the
control functions, the hardware-in-the-loop simulation is employed for testing
the implemented ECU functionality. In this conguration the real ECU hardware operates together with the simulated process in real-time [16]. To couple
the real-time computer system with the engine control unit, it is necessary to generate the required sensor signals (e.g. pulses of the crankshaft and camshaft inductive speed sensors, temperatures and pressures) and to process the actuator
signals [12].
Fig. 6 shows a simulation family system for all three simulation categories, SiL, RCP
and HiL [15].

4. Rapid control prototyping and experiment control


In order to allow development and testing of new control functions on-line in
conjunction with the real engine in a comfortable manner, powerful real-time computer systems are required. RCP systems allow the implementation and testing of
new algorithms together with the already existing ECU. Thus programming and
modications of the production ECU are avoided.
The structure of a RCP system is explained in the following, it is capable for fast
measurement signal evaluation and advanced engine control algorithms, as it is required for instance in case of combustion pressure based engine control. It consists
of two subsystems, the RCP and an indication system, see Fig. 7. Both systems
operate in parallel to the production cars ECU, and are based on PowerPCs, type
Motorola MPC 750, 480 MHz, which are designed for real-time use and are programmed in high level language.
The indicating system allows to evaluate cylinder pressure signals in real-time at a
resolution of 1 crankshaft angle (CA) for four cylinders. Thus it operates in a crank
synchronous manner. Thermodynamic and signal-based cylinder pressure features,
like mean indicated pressure, crank angle of the center of combustion, and location
of peak pressure, are calculated by the indicating system and are transmitted to the
RCP system.
The RCP system of the company dSPACE allows a very fast and easy implementation and testing of new control concepts on real-time hardware. It computes
the control and optimization algorithms and operates in a time-synchronous manner, at a sampling rate of 1 kHz. The user is enabled to code newly developed algorithms from block diagrams (e.g. MATLAB/Simulink) and download the code by
means of an automatic code generation software to the real-time hardware with a

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RCP-System
PowerPC
DS1005
PHS
ISA
Bus
Bus

MATLAB/Simulink
Stateflow

DS1005
PHS
ISA
Bus
Bus

CAN

CAN

DS4302

DS4302

Multi-I/O
DS2201-1

Real-Time
Workshop

indicating
system
PowerPC

Multi-I/O
DS2201-2

MUX-A/D
DS2003

Timer
DS4201

Real-Time
Interface

DIO/PWM

RAM

DS4001

DS4110

ControlDesk

ECU Interface

Host PC

Crank
shaft
signal

CAN
K-line

DS4120

ISA Bus Interface

Cylinder
pressure
signals

Electronic
Control
Unit

ISA BUS Interface


dSPACE PX20 Box

Fig. 7. Rapid control prototyping system conguration.

Fig. 8. Asynchronous motor coupled to the combustion engine.

mouse click. A complete design iteration can thus be accomplished within a few
minutes [5].
The RCP system uses the production car sensors, additional test stand sensors
and the output signals and messages of the ECU. By evaluating the production car
sensor information, the standard-ECU control settings can be investigated and then
be modied, also independent own control strategies can be implemented. The actuator signals, which are calculated in real-time, are then sent to the actuators or the
ECU by means of a CAN bus or by PWM-signals.
The described real-time hardware system enables very fast and easy implementation and testing of complex algorithms including extensive data preprocessing for

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the cylinder pressure, even under the hard real-time conditions of combustion engines (see Fig. 8).

5. Hardware-in-the-loop simulation for truck diesel engines


After the evaluation of new control functions by using RCP systems, the program
code is implemented on the real ECU hardware and tested with the real ECU in realtime, see Fig. 3. Fig. 9 shows the setup of a HiL simulation test bench for testing new
control functions of the real engine control unit of a truck diesel engines together with
the simulated engine. It may be subdivided in the following parts [10]:
real-time computer system including I/O-modules,
periphery, consisting of the sensor and actuator interface,

control panal

actuator-interface

brake pedal,
accelerator pedal,
clutch

real-time computer
system
simulation

signalconditioning
valve-current
measurement

Windowsuser interface

digital I/O

valve-current
analysis

sensor-interface
D/A-conversion

signalconditioning

digital I/O

sensorsignalgeneration
sensorfaultgeneration

IES

actuator-box
IV

IV

IESCAN
actuatorcontrol
(e.g. engine brake)

engineCAN

magnetic valve
current

injection pumps
(real parts)

FMRcontrol unit
(real part)

actuatorcontrol
(starter)

PLDcontrol unit
(real part)

controlsignals
(e.g.
ignition)

accelerator
pedal
(real part)

speedometersignal

sensorsignals
(p,T, ...)
crankshaft-/
camshaftsignal

Fig. 9. HiL test bench with simulated engine and vehicle and real-time engine and vehicle, with real engine
control unit and real injection actuators. FMR: vehicle management system; PLD: pump line nozzle.

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PLD control unit including real actuator components, stand-alone or in combination with the real FMR,
PC with graphical user interface,
control panel.
5.1. The HiL-simulator
The real-time computer system for this simulator is based on a dSPACE-system
equipped with digital signal processors and a DEC Alpha processor. This system has
the advantage of high computing power which makes a parallel calculation unnecessary. It oers also the possibility to realize all the models in MATLAB/Simulink to
use all the benets of a graphical simulation environment. Special I/O-modules
(digital-I/O-module, D/A converter, A/D converter and CAN-interface) are used for
the communication with the periphery. The coupling of the simulator and the
control unit is implemented with special periphery which can be subdivided into a
sensor and an actuator interface.
The sensor interface generates the necessary sensor signals like temperatures and
pressures. The pulses of the camshaft and crankshaft inductive speed sensors are
generated with a board specically designed for high speed signal generation. For
that purpose a lookup-table with the pulse-signals versus the crankshaft angle is
stored o-line in memory. During the simulation, the signals are periodically read
out, synchronous to the simulated engine speed. This realization guarantees a high
exibility in forming the pulses and adapting dierent gear wheels. The sensor interface also contains a relay electronic to simulate sensor faults like interruptions and
short circuits.
The actuator interface mainly consists of the injection pumps (pump-line-nozzle
injection system) which are integrated in the simulation test bench as real components, because the combination of the PLD control unit and the injection pumps
represent a mechatronic unit which is dicult to model. A special electronic device
measures the magnetic valve currents to reconstruct the real valve opening time and
to determine the pulse width and the beginning of injection. These quantities are
transferred to the real-time computer system for engine simulation. By this way the
real behavior of the injection pumps is included.
The simulator test bench was set up with the objective of testing the PLD control
unit stand alone or in combination with the FMR control unit. In the rst case, the
necessary FMR functions are simulated by the computer system. The data transfer is
done via the engine CAN-bus. In the second case the PLD and the FMR control
units are connected directly via the engine CAN-bus. The computer system emulates
other IES units in this operation mode by transmitting the data via the IES-CANbus to the FMR. For an ecient use of the simulator, a comfortable experimental
environment is needed.
The simulator operation is performed with a windows user interface on the hostPC which copies the functionality of a real truck-cockpit. All relevant simulation
quantities can be visualized on-line or be recorded for o-line analysis. To ensure
reproducible results a driver simulation is implemented which can automatically

20

pulse width
0

600

engine speed

500
400

engine torque
T eng [Nm]

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n eng [rpm]

pw [%]

R. Isermann, N. Muller / Mechatronics 13 (2003) 10671089

300

600
0
-600
0

1000

500
t [ms]

50

velocity

engine speed
4

2000

engine torque

500

n eng [rpm]

v veh [km/h]

Fig. 10. HiL simulation of a single injection pump valve cut o.

[Nm]

1000

M eng

2000

4
4

[ml]
Vf

5
400
200

A/F-ratio

charge-air
pressure

2
p 2 [bar]

[-]

fuel consumption
0
0

10

15

20

time [s]
Fig. 11. HiL simulation of a full-power acceleration of a 40 ton truck.

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follow a given speed cycle by operating the accelerate pedal, brake, clutch and
gear. As alternative, an interactive driving of the simulator can be performed
manually with a control panel where the most important cockpit functionalities are
realized.
5.2. Simulation results
Three HiL simulation examples for an 8-cylinder truck engine (420 kW) are
represented in order to document the applicability and the performance of the simulator. Fig. 10 demonstrates the eect of switching o a single injection pump valve.
The gearbox is in neutral position and at the beginning the engine runs with idle
speed. The cyclic decrease of the engine torque and the engine speed after the fuel
shut o can directly be seen. The control unit gradually compensates for the missing
torque of one cylinder by increasing the pulse width in order to keep the desired idle
speed.
A full power acceleration of a 40 tons truck including two gear shifts (1) is depicted in Fig. 11. The following eects can be observed:

65

desired value

60

vehicle speed

real value

2500

55

vveh [km/h]

oscillations in the drive chain (2)


maximum speed limit regulation (4)
limitation of soot (3)
lagged reaction of the turbo charging pressure (5)

2000

Meng [Nm]

1500
1000

engine torque

500
0

4%

-500

0%

road slope

-2%
5

10

15

20

25

0
30

R [%]

-5

time [s]
Fig. 12. HiL simulation, evaluating the cruise control function of a 40 ton truck.

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Fig. 12 shows the simulation results evaluating the cruise control function. The 40
tons truck runs at a constant speed of tveh 60 km/h. After a road slope of aR
2% the engine control unit reduces engine torque Meng until all injection pumps are
switched o (at 10 s). After the change of the road slope to 4% engine torque is
increased in order to compensate for the deviation between desired vehicle speed and
simulated vehicle speed.
The various simulation results illustrate the performance of the HiL simulator. It
allows repeatable testing of engine control units and control algorithms under various conditions. Thus expensive and probably dangerous engine experiments and
driving maneuvers are avoided. The behavior of the ECU during sensor or actuator
faults can be easily studied.
Several of theses HiL systems were developed for DaimlerChrysler AG, Stuttgart,
Germany.

6. Nonlinear identication of exhaust gas components


Mathematical models of engines are of basic importance, not only for HiL simulators as shown in the preceding section, but also for feedforward and feedback
control design of engine control units. The approach for modelling the NOx emissions of a 1.9 l direct injection diesel engine is explained in the following.
In order to minimize computational requirements, mathematical models have to
describe the behavior of a system as compactly as possible. Based on physical relations, theoretical modelling can be applied to simulate e.g. the mechanics of pistons
and the crankshaft, leading to so called white-box models. However, in case of
thermodynamic or chemical processes, extravagant requirements in calculating
power rule out physical modelling for control design or real-time usage. Theoretical
modelling of exhaust gas concentrations for instance depends on complex thermodynamic and chemical equations, as well as on boundary conditions like swirl,
tumble, quenching, and local temperatures [7].
This motivates the application of black-box or experimental models, which
model the inputoutput behavior of a system using universal approximators, capable
for multi-dimensional modelling. In contrast to look-up tables, which are only suitable for one- or two-dimensional problems, neural networks [11] have been successfully applied for high order problems, allowing to consider all relevant inuencing
variables. Especially neural networks based on the local linear model approach
(LOLIMOT) showed to be highly ecient and applicable to engine modelling [13].
Depending on the complexity of the engine, more than 57 inputs might be necessary
to consider the most relevant variables concerning the exhaust gas formation. Among
these are e.g. the engine speed, load, injection angle and -pressure, EGR and the
position of the guide blades of turbochargers with VTG. The application of dynamic
neural nets allows to model the dynamic behavior of exhaust gas emissions. Furthermore static emission maps can be calculated by means of the dynamic neural
network [4].

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In the following section the structure and training procedure of LOLIMOT, a


local linear model approach, is explained more detailed.
6.1. Fast local linear neural networks
Local linear model tree (LOLIMOT) is an extended radial basis function network
[13], which is extended by replacing the output layer weights with a linear function of
the network inputs. Thus, each neuron represents a local linear model with its corresponding validity function. Furthermore, the radial basis function network is
normalized, that is the sum of all validity functions for a specic input combination
sums up to one. The Gaussian validity functions determine the regions of the input
space where each neuron is active. The input space of the net is divided into M
hyper-rectangles, each represented by a linear function.
The output y^ of a LOLIMOT network with n, x1 ; . . . ; xn is calculated by summing
up the contributions of all M local linear models
y^

M
X
wi0 wi1 x1    win xn  Ui x

i1

where wij are the parameters of the ith linear regression model and xi is the model
input. The validity functions Ui are typically chosen as normalized Gaussian
weighting functions.
l
Ui x PM i
2
j1 lj
with
2

li exp

1 x1  ci1
1 xn  cin

  
2
2
r2i1
r2in

with center coordinates cij and dimension individual standard deviations rij . LOLIMOT is trained as follows. In an outer loop the network structure is optimized. It
is determined by the number of neurons and the partitioning of the input space,
which is dened by the centers and standard deviations of the validity functions. An
inner loop estimates the parameters and possibly the structure of the local linear
models. The network structure is optimized by a tree construction algorithm that
determines the centers and standard deviations of the validity functions, see Fig. 13.
The LOLIMOT algorithm partitions the input space in hyper-rectangles. In the
center of each hyper-rectangle, the validity function of the corresponding linear
model is placed. The standard deviations are chosen proportional to the size of the
hyper-rectangle. This makes the size of the validity region of a local linear model
proportional to its hyper-rectangle extension. Thus, a model may be valid over a
wide operating range of one input variable but only in a small area of another one.
At each iteration of the outer loop, one additional neuron is placed in a new hyperrectangle, which is derived from the local linear model with the worst local error
measure

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1081

Fig. 13. First four iterations of LOLIMOT training algorithm.

Jlocal

N
X

Ui xj  yj  y^j2

j1

In other words, the local error is the sum of the squared errors weighted with the
corresponding validity function Ui over all data samples N . The new hyper-rectangle
is then chosen by testing the possible cuts in all dimensions and taking the one with
the highest performance improvement.
In an inner loop the parameters of the local linear models are estimated by a local
weighted least-squares technique. The prediction errors are weighted with the corresponding validity function. Each local linear model is estimated separately, that is
the overlap between neighbored local models is neglected. This approach is very fast
and robust. It is especially important to note that due to the local estimation approach the computational demand increases only linearly with the number of local
models.
In addition to approximating stationary relations of nonlinear processes, LOLIMOT is also capable of simulating the dynamic behavior of processes. In order to
model multivariate, nonlinear, dynamic processes, the following time-delay neural
network approach can be taken.
y^t f xt
xt u1 t  1; . . . ; u1 t  m; . . . ; up t  1; . . . ; up t  m; y^t  1; . . . ; y^t  mT
4

where m is the dynamic order of the model, u1 t; . . . ; up t are the p model inputs and
y^t is the model output at time t, see Fig. 14.
Some of the main advantages of the LOLIMOT approach is its fast training time
of some 1030 s, compared to many minutes to hours with other neural networks, its

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R. Isermann, N. Muller / Mechatronics 13 (2003) 10671089

Fig. 14. LOLIMOT net with external dynamics. LLM: local linear models. The lters are chosen as simple
time delays q1 .

applicability to adaptive problems [3] and the interpretability of the net structure and
parameters in a physical sense.
6.2. Modelling the NOx -emissions of a diesel engine
Since experimental modelling is based on measurement data, engine experiments
are essential. When recording the training data for dynamic models, one should keep
in mind, that the measured data has to contain the whole range of amplitudes and
dynamics of the process in order to get satisfying results. APRBS signals (amplitude
modulated pseudo random binary signal) are often suitable as process inputs because
they excite the process within a wide range of amplitudes and frequencies. In this
example, step responses of diering amplitudes have proven to be suitable for the
training of the NOx -models.
Fig. 15 shows for the training data set the dynamically measured NOx emissions
and the three input signals, fuel mass minj , engine speed neng and CA of injection hinj
(EGR and VTG were disabled during this test).
The neural network approach based on LOLIMOT networks consists of dynamic
local linear models, each of them being valid in a specic operating domain. The
structure of each local linear model was selected as
b X k fLOLIMOT minj k  1; neng k  1; hinj k  1; N O
b X k  1
NO

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NO X

1000

100

200

100

200

300

400

500

600

300

400

500

600

m inj

0
50

inj
[CA]

0
0
-20

[mg]

eng
[rpm]

4000

[ppm]

Training

2000

1083

time [s]
Fig. 15. Training data set for a dynamic NOx model.

giving a simple linear model of rst order. After building the neural model, the
model can be applied to a new (unknown) data set and simulates the NOx according
to the respective input data (on-line in the vehicle, if necessary).
Fig. 16 illustrates the good generalization performance of a rst order dynamic
net with 15 neurons for the NOx emissions. Despite the excitation of the input signals
in Figs. 15 and 16 were of quite dierent quality, the simulated NOx is able to follow
the measured values with an error of just a few percent, which was quite satisfying.
Another important feature of these dynamic neural models is the possibility of
deriving stationary maps from dynamic models. The data in Fig. 15 led to a dynamic
model according to (5). This model was then used to calculate the stationary

NO X

[ppm]

neng

[rpm]

m inj

[mg]

inj

[CA]

Generalization

2000
1000
0

50

100

150

-20
0

50

100

150

200

250

300

350

200

250

300

350

5000
0
50
0
0

time [s]
Fig. 16. Generalisation of the NOx model trained with the data in Fig. 15.

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NOx [ppm]

inj [CA]

minj [mg]

Fig. 17. NOx Map, calculated from dynamic neural net (neng 2500 1/min).

two-dimensional look-up table shown in Fig. 17. Thus, it is possible to get a good
visual overview on the engines characteristics by maps derived from dynamic
measurements. Even more importantly, this feature allows a fast dynamic measurement of the engines characteristics and a calculation of the static engine maps by
means of the dynamic neural model. Consequently, there is no need to measure the
whole look-up table using measurement points on equidistant grids, which helps to
save expensive measurement time.
The obtained dynamic model for the NOx emissions can be used for o-line or online optimization of exhaust gas emissions, and has been implemented on a RCP
system as explained in chapter. In the same way nonlinear models are obtained for
torque, fuel-consumption, CO, HC and soot [4].

7. Adaptive feedforward control of ignition angle with rapid control prototyping for an
SI engine
Cylinder pressure signals contain valuable information for closed-loop engine
control. For using this information low cost combustion pressure sensors with high
long-term stability have been developed [1,6] and are starting to be installed into
production engines [8]. Real-time cylinder pressure evaluation is, however, a demanding task and requires powerful computational resources. Sampling of cylinder
pressure signals is usually performed in a crankshaft synchronous manner, a typical
resolution for engine research is 1 crank angle (CA), which results in sampling rates
up to 40 kHz, depending on engine rotational speed. Nevertheless, increasing computational performance as well during the control design stage using RCP systems,
as for future engine control units entail an increasing interest in beneting from
combustion pressure information.

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A variety of engine control functions could be improved or implemented using


cylinder pressure sensors. One of them is the implementation of a closed-loop
ignition control system, as it is explained in the following.
The objective of ignition control is to achieve optimum engine eciency for each
combustion event. Generally factors that inuence the optimal ignition angle are
engine specications like conguration of the combustion chamber, operating conditions like engine speed, load, temperature and EGR ow rate, as well as ambient
conditions such as air temperature, air pressure and humidity in the atmosphere.
Standard ignition control systems are based on feedforward control and therefore
rely heavily upon calibration of look-up tables. The database values are initially calibrated from an analysis of a nominal engine under xed environmental
conditions. However, changing environmental conditions, aging eects, and manufacturing tolerances usually change an engines characteristics and lead to a deteriorating performance. This motivates the development of closed-loop control
systems.
Combustion pressure sensors allows to optimize the point of ignition of each
cylinder separately. The variable which is to be controlled is calculated from the
mass fraction burned (MFB) signal, which can be derived from cylinder pressure
evaluations [9]. Measurements and theoretical analysis reveal, that optimal ignition,
i.e. maximum torque from each combustion event, can be obtained if 50% of fuel
mass have been burned until a crank angle of 8 after top dead center (TDC) [2]. This
crank angle is also referred to as the center of combustion. The proposed approach calculates the crankshaft angle of 50% MFB h50% MFB for each combustion
cycle and controls it to h50% MFB 8 CA after TDC.
7.1. Control structure
Applying closed-loop ignition control using standard controllers (e.g. of PI type)
cannot provide acceptable control performance under fast changing operating
conditions, since dead times and noisy signals prohibit the tuning of controller gains
with high control eort. The dead times are due to the fact, that after ignition of the
airfuel mixture, the combustion cannot be inuenced any further. Therefore the
ignition angle can only be computed for the next cycle, based on measurements from
the present engine cycle, and a dead time of one cycle is inherent. Moreover as there
exist signicant cycle uctuations even under steady operating conditions, the calculated cylinder pressure features of several consecutive engine cycles have to be
averaged (e.g. a moving average over 10 cycles is used). However, because the system
error usually diers from one engine operating condition to another, using controllers with small control gains, it takes a certain amount of time after engine
transients, to integrate to a new ignition angle. The stochastic nature of the
combustion events can be seen in Fig. 18. The upper diagram shows the measured
cylinder pressure signals of the compression and the power strokes of 100 consecutive cycles of an arbitrary cylinder. The dotted lines represent the reconstructed
polytrope, which is the component of the cylinder pressure which is due to the piston
motion (also called towed or motored pressure). The lower diagram depicts the

R. Isermann, N. Muller / Mechatronics 13 (2003) 10671089


cyl. pressure [bar]

1086

40
30
20
10
0
150

100

50

50

100

150

15

10

loc. of x

MFB

=0.5 [CA]

crank angle [CA]

5
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

cycle number

Fig. 18. Upper diagram: measured cylinder pressure signals and reconstructed prototype. Lower diagram:
calculated crank angle locations of 50% MFB (nmot 3000 rpm, 50% load).

Fig. 19. General structure of a LFFC. The controller C is basically used for the adaption of the feedforward map.

corresponding crank angle locations of 50% MFB, which are to be controlled to 8


CA.
This motivates the use of learning feedforward control (LFFC), whose general
structure is shown in Fig. 19. The linear controller C is used to compensate random
disturbances and to provide a reference signal for the learning feedforward controller. It does not need to have a high performance and can be designed in such a
way that it provides a robust stability. A function approximator works in parallel to
the linear controller, it can be represented by a neural network or, in the simplest
case, by a two-dimensional look-up table. Since the learning function approximator
acts instead of a controllers integral term, the linear controller is preferably a simple
proportional gain. It can also be deactivated for noise suppression.

R. Isermann, N. Muller / Mechatronics 13 (2003) 10671089

1087

Fig. 20. Structure of the adaptive feedforward ignition control system.

For the ignition control system the function approximator is divided into the
conventional, xed ignition look-up table and into the adaptive oset map, see Fig.
20. The adaptive look-up table is trained on-line using NLMS or RLS training algorithms [9]. The learning process is performed during normal operation of the
engine, without determining special excitation signals. The learning system is just
collecting and processing inputoutput samples at the individual operating points.
The operating condition is determined by the engine load (a normalized value calculated from the intake manifold pressure signal) and the engines rotational speed.
The conventional look-up table determines an approximate value of the ignition
angle hi;c and is valid for all cylinders. For each cylinder the location of 50% MFB is
calculated and compared to the reference location of 8 CA. Correction angles hadapt
are calculated and memorized by the adaptive oset look-up table of each cylinder,
at the corresponding operating condition. In order to reduce noise in the controller
output signal hi , no linear proportional controller C is used in parallel to the function
approximator, see Fig. 19.
7.2. Measurement results
In Fig. 21 at a constant engine speed of 2500 rpm a certain load change sequence
is repeated for three times, see the third diagram. The rst diagram shows the crank
angle locations of 50% MFB for two cylinders, which are to be controlled to 8 CA
after TDC. The second diagram depicts the correction values hadapt for the ignition
angles of the corresponding cylinders. For the rst 50 s only the conventional
feedforward control is active. The considerable deviations of the crank angle locations of 50% MFB from the optimal value for best engine eciency at 8 CA after
TDC is visible, see the upper diagram. Between 50 and 168 s the adaptive feedforward controller is active. Since the adaptive inputoutput map of each cylinder had
been initialized to zero, it rst has to be adapted for both operating conditions. The
control performance for the already adapted feedforward control is shown between

R. Isermann, N. Muller / Mechatronics 13 (2003) 10671089

50% MFB,1+2 []

1088

20
15
10
5

adapt []

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

160

180

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

160

180

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

160

180

5
0
-5
0

load [%]

30
25
20
15
0

time [sec]
Fig. 21. Control performance of the ignition control system during three equivalent load changes. The
adaptive look-up table is initialised with zero, after 50 s the adaptive feedforward control is activated.

130 and 160 s. Then it is switched back to the conventional, xed feedforward
control.
In spite of the considerable, stochastic nature of the combustion events, the
adaptive feedforward control allows to maintain the mean crank angle location of
50% MFB around its optimal value at about 8 CA after TDC.

8. Conclusions
The demands for improved engine emissions, performance and eciency, as well
as the tight schedules in the development process, require ecient methods and tools
for the design, implementation and calibration of engine control units.
RCP systems allow a fast and easy implementation and testing of new engine
control algorithms. Graphical user interfaces and automatic code generating methodologies allow the computation of control functions, in bypass to the engine control
unit, on a real-time hardware.
Hardware-in-the-loop simulators allow testing of engine control units and control
algorithms under various conditions and in a repeatable manner. Thus expensive and
probably dangerous engine experiments are avoided and valuable time on dynamometers can be saved. The behavior of the engine control unit during sensor faults
can be studied.
Ecient engine models, as required for all proposed development tools, can be
obtained by using dynamic local linear neural networks. The basic structure of the
network type LOLIMOT is explained and applied for modelling and online simulations of the dynamic NOx emissions of a direct injection diesel engine.

R. Isermann, N. Muller / Mechatronics 13 (2003) 10671089

1089

To exemplify the potential of RCP systems, a combustion pressure based ignition


control system was presented. An indicating system allows the online evaluation of
cylinder pressure signals in real-time, in a crank synchronous manner. Learning
feedforward control is implemented on a time synchronous RCP, allowing to optimize the ignition angle of each cylinder separately. The proposed control system is
capable to compensate for manufacturing tolerances, fuel quality variations and
long-term eects such as aging or wear of the engine.

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