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PAPER SERIES 2008-01-1016

Engine Torque Control Variation Analysis

Michael Livshiz, Minghui Kao and Anthony Will
Powertrain Engineering – General Motors Corporation

Reprinted From: Electronic Engine Controls, 2008


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Engine Torque Control Variation Analysis

Michael Livshiz, Minghui Kao and Anthony Will
Powertrain Engineering – General Motors Corporation

Copyright © 2008 SAE International


The growing complexity of engine control systems and Torque-based vehicle and powertrain control systems were
integration with transmission and vehicle dynamics controls introduced in [1, 2] where a hierarchical control strategy for
systems have lead to the use of torque-based engine control. powertrain functions was described. These two papers laid the
Torque-based control enables flexibility and expandability of foundation of the torque-based powertrain control. In the
the powertrain control system structure. It allows various torque-based powertrain systems the main control parameter is
engine actuation technologies (active fuel management (AFM), an engine or vehicle torque. The coordination between engine,
cam phasing, supercharger, etc.) to be easily incorporated, and transmission and brakes is done through this variable. The
to enable a simpler control structure than current production coordination between various engine and transmission
controls. Torque-based control structure is developed to actuators is also accomplished through this torque variable.
coordinate and achieve better engine, transmission, hybrid, and
vehicle dynamics controls. BOSCH ME7 engine control system was discussed in [3] as
new approach to the engine torque-based control at the time.
This paper describes the role of Engine Torque Control in a This system enables the separation of engine torque control
torque-based control system. It gives an overview of Engine from other vehicle control systems. It had centralized torque
Torque Control architecture with main elements, and discusses and air to fuel ratio management. It provided engine control
control system requirements. Engine Torque Control dealing with EGR, non EGR, cam phasing, and non cam
performance, defined by the engine torque transient response, phasing actuators. The control structure was expandable and
has direct impact on qualities of torque based control, such as flexible. The torque-based engine management system was
vehicle response, drivability and fuel economy. The engine also described in [4] where the authors considered the charge
torque transient response must be independent of control and ignition timing control, and some aspects of actuators
system, plant, and environmental variations. An accurate plant coordination. The powertrain management was described in [5,
model of a powertrain system has been developed, presented, 6], where authors introduced standards and interfaces for
and tuned with a development vehicle data. This model is used powertrain control. Coordinated powertrain torque control
to study the influence of parameter variation on the control became the standard for automotive industry nowadays. All
system. The Engine Torque Control algorithm model used for powertrain control suppliers develop solutions to provide
Rapid-Prototyping Controls is connected with the powertrain coordinated powertrain torque control in one form or another.
plant model through a control interface model.
Engine torque control is the main enabler of torque based
This paper characterizes an Engine Torque Control transient architecture. Engine torque control provides coordination of
response in terms of classical control theory metrics such as engine actuators (throttle position, spark advance, cam phaser
overshoot, steady state error, and response time. The influence positions and others) to achieve torque requested by driver or a
of both environmental and system parameters on the control vehicle subsystem. It is used both in torque control and in
system transient response characteristics is considered. The speed control operation modes. In speed control mode, torque
parameter variation and simulation Design of Experiment control system provides actuator controls to achieve requested
(DOE) runs were chosen by control design team and torque engine speed under coast down and steady state idle.
control experts. The torque response data collected on
development vehicle is used to verify integrity of the Engine torque control consists of feedforward and feedback
simulation results. This paper provides simulation results subsystems providing transient and steady state engine
illustrating how transient torque response performance is a performance controls. Feedforward engine torque control
function of system variations. provides us with calculation of desired actuator positions to
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produce requested torque value. Engine torque control with Figure 1 presents the block diagram of engine torque control
desired state calculation is described in [7], where architecture. It has two inputs: slow and fast torque requests
compressible flow equation is utilized to calculate desired (Treq_s and Treq_f). The outputs of the control system are
throttle position. The torque based calculations of desired throttle position (TPS), intake and exhaust cam positions
manifold pressure and desired air per cylinder are inputs into (ICAM and ECAM), boost actuator (Bp), and spark advance
compressible flow equation. Modern engine control may (S). Primarily, the throttle, intake cam, exhaust cam, and boost
utilize many different air induction devices such as mixture actuators (outputs) are used for slow torque requests, yet for
motion control, port deactivation, variable intake manifold fast torque requests, spark control is employed.
valves, cam phasers, and other devices. They all must be
coordinated to achieve requested engine torque. The
coordinated engine torque control structure is discussed in [8]. Throttle(TPS)
Supercharged and turbocharged engine torque control system
can utilize the same engine torque control structure with the Intake
Treq_s Slow Torque Control (ICAM)
minimum modifications. Engine torque feed-forward control
can employ desired manifold pressure to schedule boosted Exhaust
supercharger and turbocharger actuators. One example of the Boost (Bp)
torque control structure to control supercharged engine is
shown in [9]. Feedback system corrects feed-forward Treq_f Spark (S)
Fast Torque Control
subsystem based on estimated torque. Mathematical
description of engine torque control structure will be shown in
the following section.
Figure 1 - Engine Torque Control Architecture
There are many possible combinations of engine actuators
used in modern engine torque control. The goal of this paper is
to provide the readers with the methodology to analyze an One of key elements of the engine torque control is engine
engine (with any combination of actuators) torque transient torque estimation. There are many papers and patents
control behavior under variations of system parameters and describing torque estimation strategies [10, 11, 12, 13, 14]. In
environmental conditions. In this paper, the requirements for [14], the authors used the crankshaft speed as the input of
engine torque control are specified based on vehicle torque observers which estimate torque. They considered several
response needs. The main parameters affecting requirements engine models with the different level of complexity. In [15]
are specified. Their influence on engine torque control the two other methods of torque estimation are considered.
transient behavior is analyzed using control simulation. It is The first method utilizes the measured engine block vibration
also very important to inform the readers of this paper that the to reconstruct the in-cylinder pressure. The second method is
authors are merely showing a methodology used in developing based on the difference between the measurement of the
a torque based control system. This methodology includes a crankshaft velocity and model. However these methods are
model-based engine torque control architecture with a set of computationally intensive and require a powerful electronic
calibration tools. This common architecture is applicable to engine control module, not available for production-intended
conventional (fixed cam spark ignition, port fuel injected) automotive application in the near future. Besides, they do not
engines as well as the most complex engines (such as those consider cylinder air rate, spark advance and other important
with independent cam phasing, turbo or supercharging, direct variables as inputs needed for engine torque control. An
injection, and active fuel management). The most significant alternative to the above approaches using crankshaft speed
aspect of this approach is that the engine torque control reconstruction is a strategy utilizing main control parameters
architecture is common; hence it is independent of the engine affecting an engine torque.
complexity. A common calibration process and common
software are now possible with this particular control In Bosch control system [3], indicated torque calculation is
architecture which offers significant benefits in terms of based on the major variables such as relative cylinder charge,
production implementation. air to fuel ratio and ignition timing. The engine losses caused
by the gas exchange and friction are calculated separately. In
[10] the combination of physical and regression models are
ENGINE TORQUE CONTROL ARCHITECTURE used to compute an engine torque based on Wiebe function.
The regression method is used to approximate physical
In this section, the authors give an overview of the developed equations describing torque production [17] as a function of
engine torque control architecture to control an engine with system sensitivities in [11, 12, 13].
any combination of actuators. The detailed implementation of
engine torque control is not the subject of this paper. However, The torque based system has the following requirements for
references describing detailed implementation of engine torque the engine torque estimation model:
control with various engine configurations are provided. The
authors describe mathematically their method of estimating - Torque model must be invertible (i.e., for a given
and controlling engine torque. engine torque, control inputs such as the desired
cylinder air rate and spark advance can be computed).
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- Torque model must be scaleable (i.e., new actuators .

used in future engine torque control systems can be Tbr = f A ( R, A, S ) =

added with minimum changes in the software and bA ( R) * A + bs ( R) * S + bR ( R )
calibration process).
For this model, the coefficients (bA, b5, bR) are the torque
- Torque model must be accurate (i.e., it meets sensitivities corresponding to the change in cylinder air rate,
particular drivability and fuel economy requirements). spark advance, and offset, respectively.

The regression based model is easy to invert and expand. The Equations 2-3 and 2-4 are valid for any gas engine. Hence, any
right choice of model order is an enabler to satisfy the new actuator, any new actuator combination, or engine
accuracy requirements. Furthermore, the engine torque model operation mode (such as for ethanol fuel) may be included
calibration is directly obtained from the regression model easily in the engine torque control architecture. In general,
without additional development. with each additional actuator to an engine torque control
system (or changing an engine operation mode such as for
An engine torque model may be represented in the either of the ethanol fuel use) usually requires that a new sensitivity
following forms: function be computed. Further, an engine with ethanol fuel has
very different combustion properties as compared to a regular
­ gas engine. This drives the need for sensitivity functions which
° f A ( R, A, ICAM , ECAM , S , AF , E %, AFM , Toil , B) are specific to a given fuel type (E85 vs. conventional fuel).
Tbr = ® or For example, an engine with dual equal cam phasers, the
° f P ( R, P, ICAM , ECAM , S , AF , E %, AFM , Toil , B) relationship between cylinder air rate and spark advance is a
° function of cam position for a given speed and load. Equations
¯ 2-3 and 2-4 are still valid, and furthermore the sensitivity
(2-1) ( )
functions a p , as , aR , bA , bs , bR will be functions of RPM

In equation 2-1, Tbr is engine brake torque, R is engine RPM, and intake position (i.e., ap = f(R, ICAM)). In the case of dual
A is cylinder air rate, P is manifold pressure, AF is air to fuel independent cam phasers, the sensitivity functions will be
ratio, E% is percentage of ethanol in fuel, AFM is indicating functions of RPM, intake, and exhaust phaser positions (i.e., ap
= f(R, ICAM, ECAM)). The sensitivity function is increased by
cylinder deactivation mode, Toil is an engine oil temperature,
one degree of freedom.
B is barometric pressure. The functions fA and fp are cylinder
air rate and manifold pressure based torque models, Each engine torque model is strategically used in the engine
respectively. torque control scheme. One is based on manifold pressure and
the other is based on cylinder air rate may be used for torque
For torque control derivation, one can assume that the engine security system. The main cylinder air rate based model is
operates under normal ambient pressure and temperature. compared with manifold pressure based model to determine if
Also, it is assumed that AFM is disabled and intake and abnormal torque requests or behaviors are present in the
exhaust cam phasing positions are fixed. The torque equations control system. Cylinder air rate based torque model is used to
can be reduced to: compute desired cylinder air rate (DA) based on desired slow
torque request as shown in the following equation.
­ f A (R, A, S )
° Treq _ s − bs * S − bR
Tbr = ® or (2-2) DA = f (Treq _ s , R, S ) = (2-5)
° f p ( R, P, S ) bA

In particular, the manifold pressure based torque model may Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) module transforms desired
be presented: cylinder air rate into throttle position using compressible flow
. equation to compute desired throttle area.
Tbr = f p ( R , P, S ) =
DA ⋅ R ⋅ Rm * Tamb
a p ( R ) * P + a s ( R) * S + a R ( R ) Area = (2-6)
k ⋅ B ⋅ Φ¨ ¸
For this model, the coefficients (ap, aS, aR) are the torque ©B¹
sensitivities corresponding to changes in manifold pressure,
spark advance, and offset, respectively. In Equation (2-6),Rm and Tamb are universal gas constant
and ambient air temperature. Air density factor Φ is a
Cylinder air rate based torque model may be presented: function of pressure ratio across throttle plate. The coefficient
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k is depending on numbers of engine cylinders and unit The engine torque control with turbocharger does not require
conversion. Conversion of desired throttle area to desired any engine torque control structure or engine torque estimation
throttle position is non linear. The desired throttle area modifications. Effects of turbocharging are already included in
equation (2-6) has two internal feedbacks delaying engine the air estimation. The bypass is controlled based on the model
torque response – manifold pressure and engine speed. The of pre-throttle pressure defined by engine speed, desired air
manifold pressure rise will be defined by intake manifold per cylinder and desired manifold pressure. The engine torque
pressure time constant. Manifold pressure is a dominant factor control with turbocharging is described in [16] with details.
in delaying an engine torque response. Hence, desired
manifold pressure is used in engine torque control system The engine torque control with supercharger will require
instead of measured pressure. Desired manifold pressure (DP) changes of both torque estimation and control. The friction
can be computed [7] by using equation (2-3) which describing torque must include additional losses in supercharger. They
manifold pressure based torque model. may be calculated as a function of pressure drop across the
throttle and engine speed. In the compressible flow equation
Treq _ s − as * S − aR (2-6) desired manifold pressure must be replaced by desired
DP = f (Treq _ s , R, S ) = (2-7) pre-supercharged pressure, which may be calculated as a
aP function of desired manifold pressure, engine speed, measured
manifold and pre-throttle pressures. The control of super
Figure 2 shows the block diagram of slow engine torque charger bypass is calculated as a function of desired manifold
control system [8]. One of elements of this architecture is an pressure, desired air per cylinder and engine speed. The engine
inverse transformation of torque to desired pressure and torque control structure with supercharger is described in [9].
desired cylinder air rate. The first order polynomial torque
model presented here is readily invertible. Of course, the Some modern engines use AFM to optimize vehicle fuel
accuracy of this model can be improved by using second order economy. An engine with reduced number of cylinders has
polynomial model. The inverse of the second-order model is different MBT spark values. Hence, it also has different
more difficult to obtain because it involves solving a function relationship between cylinder air rate and spark advance for
with squared parameters in order to compute the desired given engine torque and speed. Using AFM does not require
manifold pressure and desired cylinder air rate. In this paper, a any modification of the engine torque control structure, but
first order model is presented for the sake of simplicity. different sensitivities in torque model are needed.
However, a second-order model is used in the control system
implementation. To compensate torque errors in the control system, a PI
controller for slow torque request is used. Torque
Boost Bp
compensation or correction Tcorr can be presented as in
DP Control
Pressure Base
Treq_s Inverse Torque equation (2-10). The variables ( Test , k p , ki ) are the
+ PI +
- + Model
estimated engine torque, proportional gain and integral gain
Throttle TPS respectively.
Test Control

Cylinder Tcorr = Treq _ s + k p ⋅ (Treq _ s − Test ) + ki * ³ (Treq _ s − Test )dt

Air Rate Base
Inverse Torque ICAM
Model DA
CAM Phaser (2-10)
RPM Spark Smax
A Control
Figure 2 – Slow Engine Torque Control Architecture + S
Treq_s Cylinder Air Rate dSt
based Inverse +
Cam phaser control system consists of two main functions. -
Torque Model
First main function is the steady state intake and exhaust cam
phaser schedules (equations 2-8 and 2-9: f I , f E ) designed
based on dynamometer torque data for engine performance Treq_f Cylinder Air Rate
and emission. The second function is intake and exhaust cam based Inverse
Torque Model
actuation. For engine torque control analysis, the actuation
may be represented as first order response model. Figure 3 – Fast Engine Torque Control Architecture

ICAM = f I ( R, DA) (2-8)

Figure 3 shows the block diagram of fast torque control. If
ECAM = f E ( R, DA) (2-9) Treq _ s , Treq _ f are equal, spark advance S is equal to
S max (close to MBT). The difference between slow and fast
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torque requests caused by torque request leads to torque wealth of many publications in powertrain modeling area with
management spark retard (dSt). The final spark is described in conventional spark ignition engines, there are special needs to
equation (2-11). accurately model engine air volumetric efficiency and torque
with modern engine actuators (cam phasing, variable valve
S = S max + dSt timing, AFM, Intake Manifold Tuning (IMTV), etc.).

dSt = f A−1 (Treq _ s , R, A) − f A−1 (Treq _ f , R, A) (2-11) In a modern electronic engine control system, an engine is
presented as a plant with these major inputs: Spark, electronic
As it was shown in this paper the relationships between main controlled throttle, cam phasing (dilution), fuel injection, and
engine parameters and torque control are very nonlinear. It is AFM. It has four fundamental outputs: manifold pressure
impossible to design such control system and to analyze its (MAP), mass air flow (MAF), torque and RPM. The models
performance without nonlinear physical powertrain plant described in these papers are nonlinear and physical based,
model. In the next section, we will consider a powertrain with mean value key engine behavioral characteristics. Engine
model that includes all essential nonlinear elements for torque has three major dynamics: manifold filling, torque production,
control system analysis. An engine with dual equal phaser is and crankshaft rotation. The manifold filling time delay is a
considered in this paper. However as it was shown above the function of geometry and other parameters of the engine,
same control structure may be used to control an engine with properties of throttle body, and ambient temperature and
any combination of actuators. pressure. The manifold pressure dynamics are influenced
mainly by incoming throttle flow and outgoing cylinder mass
air flow.

PLANT AND TORQUE CONTROL ALGORITHM Intake manifold filling dynamics (equation 3-1) is derived
based on Ideal Gas Law and First Law of Thermodynamics, as
first order manifold pressure differential equation. Mass air
flow into the cylinder is based on speed density calculation
In this section, the engine, transmission, and vehicle plant
[17, 29]. Physics-based and regression-based volumetric
models used for the simulation analysis are discussed. Plant
efficiency (Ve) models are developed internally to account for
and control interface models are created to translate plant
key actuator input influences (Intake Cam Phaser, Exhaust
outputs to ECM (Engine Control Module) equivalent
Cam Phaser, IMTV, AFM, etc.). These more elaborated Ve
variables. Key behavioral algorithms (spark controls, cam
model and equations are needed for accuracy as compared to
phaser controls, etc.) are modeled to provide proper inputs to
traditional table lookup or curve fitting approaches. Ve is
drive Torque Control algorithm. Descriptions of Engine
function of engine RPM and MAP in a conventional mean-
Torque Controls are given in the previous section. Production
value modeling approach.
intent Engine Torque Control Model created in Simulink is
used in this project. Outputs of the Torque Controls are used to
The engine air flows into the cylinders are important to model
drive plant model inputs through the interface model. Key
and predict engine torques and air-fuel ratio. Physics-based Ve
plant and algorithm ECM TCM (Transmission Control
is modeled as function of engine RPM, MAP, intake air
Module) variables are collected in Vehicle to verify the overall
temperature, exhaust back pressure, exhaust temperature,
integrated simulation model. Nominal simulation results with
coolant temperature, intake cam phasing angle, exhaust cam
key control variables are verified for key behavior, before
phasing angle. The equations are derived based on energy
running parameter variation and simulations.
conservation and heat transfer with some simplifications.
Matlab based optimization tools are developed to find and
adjust physics-based coefficients with a user selected cost
function (percentage errors or absolute errors). The modeled
Ve is compared with the engine test data in Matlab, and users
The plant models developed are Control-Oriented Models
can analyze modeling results with Matlab plots. In addition, a
targeted for embedded controls simulations (Hardware-in-the-
regression-based Ve model is created as extension of
Loop, Software-in-the-Loop, Algorithm Development, Control
conventional Ve curve fitting. The fitting coefficients are now
Variation Study, etc.). Details of the model equations are
multi-dimension table lookups. Matlab tools are developed
described by the authors in [17]. The engine model is a mean-
similar to Physics-based Ve model.
value engine model with modulated cylinder-by-cylinder
torque behavior. There were many papers describing the
engine models for powertrain control [18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23,
R ⋅T
24]. One of the first engine plant models for control design Pm = m m (m tps − m cyl ) (3-1)
was developed by Dobner [18]. Many papers [21, 25, 26, 27, Vm
28] describing transmission models including model of torque
converters, transmission mechanical system and drivetrain. In
Vd ⋅ηvol ⋅ Pm ⋅ N eng
[21] authors developed powertrain model consisting of engine, m cyl = (3-2)
transmission and drivetrain models, and different nonlinear 120 ⋅ Rm ⋅ Tm
elements of powertrain models were presented. Even with
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Once engine volumetric efficiency [29] is accurately modeled, (regression based) is used to determine load torque to the
the mass flow into the cylinder m cyl can be calculated using engine, and input turbine torque to the transmission geartrain.
In this paper, torque static bench spin test data (speed ratio,
the speed density calculation. The m tps is throttle mass flow torque ratio, etc.) are directly used in Simulink table lookup to
rate into the intake manifold which is calculated by using one calculate pump load torque and turbine input torque. Torque
dimensional compressible flow equation [29] as function of converter lockup clutch (TCC) is used in automatic
throttle position (effective throttle area) and pressure ratio transmission to bypass torque converter hydraulics to lower
across throttle plate. By using equations 3-1 and 3-2, MAP energy loss in the torque converter. Clutch torque is modeled
function of clutch pressure, clutch effective area, clutch
Pm and APC charge can be calculated.
friction coefficient, and clutch slip. Transmission ratios in the
model are determined based on commanded gear from shift
Torque production is a function of intake manifold pressure, control algorithm, with behavioral shift time delay and shift
air mass per cylinder, engine speed, spark advance, barometric time. Detailed of the transmission behavioral model is
pressure, fuel injection, cam phasing, AFM, and delays described in [17]. Vehicle model used is a one degree-of
associated with the combustion process. The friction torque freedom (DOF) vehicle dynamic model commonly used for
can be modeled as function of RPM, manifold pressure, and powertrain control development [17, 21, 25, 26, 27]. Detailed
AFM, assuming that the exhaust plenum pressure is small. vehicle dynamic model equations with higher DOF can be
The engine brake torque may be written in the following form: found in [30].

Tbr The engine and transmission plant models used for CTC
= Tind ( N eng , Pm , S , APC , ICAM , ECAM , AFM ) − T fr ( N eng , Pm , AFM ) variation analysis are parameterized for GM High-Value V6
= Tbr ( N eng , Pm , S , APC, ICAM , ECAM , AFM ) and four speed automatic transmission. The following figures
(3-3) are model simulation results compared with instrumented
ECM TCM data collected on a development vehicle. The
Engine brake torque can be modeled as regression-based vehicle data is collected with key maneuvers to cover wide
model with barometric pressure correction. Matlab tools for range of operations for torque control and plant model
getting regression coefficients can be obtained by using steady simulation verification. Vehicle data is also used to tune the
state dynamometer data. Again, similar to Ve model, Matlab overall vehicle model transient performance.
optimization scripts are developed to optimize torque accuracy
with a torque accuracy cost function defined by using GM The overall powertrain and vehicle Simulink model is
engine torque estimation specification. Engine crankshaft connected with the following input data streams in Matlab
inertia is assumed to be constant to simplify the simulation workspace.
equation. Crankshaft dynamic with varying inertia equation is Commanded Throttle Percent
available and discussed in [20]. Total engine inertia including Commanded Air Fuel Ratio
flywheel, damping element, torque converter pump, and Final Spark Advance
accessory are represented as lumped inertia. Engine net torque Inlet Air Temperature
can be calculated with engine brake torque, accessory load Commanded Cam Phaser Positions
torque, and torque converter load torque from transmission. By Commanded TCC Pressure
using Newton’s Law for the Engine Crankshaft Speed Transmission Line Pressure
Dynamics, engine RPM can be calculated by integrating Transmission Commanded Gear
engine acceleration (torque divided by inertia). Engine RPM is Vehicle Speed in KPH
used in other part of engine model, and input to transmission
torque converter model. The following key outputs are collected in Matlab workspace
after the simulation runs.
The transmission model is based on [17]. Transmission MAF, g/sec
gearbox and corresponding clutch activation hydraulics for MAP, kPa
gear shifts can be modeled as in [21, 25, 26, 27, 28]. Usually Engine RPM
the transmission mechanical can be modeled as lever diagram Engine Torque, Nm
[26, 27]. Dynamic equations for different operational gears Engine APC, mg
and during gear shifts can be derived. Hydraulic network for Transmission Input Speed, RPM
clutch engagement can be modeled as one-dimension hydraulic Transmission Output Speed, RPM
flow equations and clutch pressure to clutch torque
relationship. The model complexity needs depend on the target
Figures 4, 5, and 6 show good agreements between data
of the analysis. For the Engine Torque Control development, it
collected on development vehicle and plant model simulations.
is determined that the behavioral transmission models like in
[17, 21] are suitable.

Engine is connected to transmission geartrain via a hydraulic

torque converter. In [17], Kotwicki torque converter model
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P lan t Sim Engine torque control algorithm contains two main

E CM To rq ue
subsystems: engine torque estimation and engine torque
control. The engine torque estimation is used because engine
torque sensors are not available in production intended
vehicle. Engine torque estimate is calibrated by engine torque
calibration engineers, and accuracy is within the engine torque

error specification. Engine torque estimate is then used as

achieved torque, and used to calculate torque errors in
reference to desired torque commands. The algorithm
Simulink model is provided by engine torque control algorithm
development engineer. The production ECM calibrations are
converted to Matlab format to be used in Simulink. The
50 100 150 2 00 250 algorithm model functionality and key test behavior are similar
Time (S ec ond )
to the model used to autocoded production C code. Vehicle
Figure 4 – Engine Brake Torque Comparison transient tests are conducted to verify torque control algorithm
functionality in PC simulation environment. For the targeted
engine torque variation study, some of the algorithm model
inputs are constant through out the maneuver. These inputs are
M AF g/sec
assigned constant values based on ECM variables collected in
P lan t Sim
development vehicle. There are key inputs from other part of
ECM controls: Fuel Controls, Spark Controls, Cam Phaser
Controls, Mass Air Flow and Air Per Cylinder Estimation,
Driver Torque Request Controls, etc. Key outputs are desired
60 throttle area to ETC controls, final spark command to Spark
Controls, engine managed (actual torque), and engine
unmanaged torque (engine air flow torque without torque
g/se c

40 reduction).
Torque Control key variables are collected in the development
20 vehicle similar to the data in plant model section. Several
torque request step responses are commanded for generating
test data to verify simulation algorithm model. Figure 7 shows
50 100 150 2 00 250 results of a 150 Nm torque request, engine managed torque
Time (S ec ond )
and engine unmanaged torque. During this specific vehicle
Figure 5 – Engine Mass Air Flow Comparison test, transmission gear shifts occur at about 6.5 and 8.5
seconds. The engine torque reductions are requested by TCM
during the gear shifts. Several key closed-loop related torque
control variables within the algorithm model are collected to
MAP kP a
generate plots to compare with vehicle data. Simulation
1 00
P lan t Sim
engineer, algorithm development engineer, and torque control
E CM MA P specialist are working together to make sure torque control
algorithm model is functioning correctly, and satisfactory for
variation study.






50 100 150 2 00 2 50
Time (S e c ond )

Figure 6 – Engine Manifold Air Pressure Comparison

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algorithm model, AF ratio schedule and Spark controls

algorithm models are included to provide appropriate inputs to
160 torque control algorithm. Cam phaser schedules and dynamics,
engine RPM and MAP processing, cylinder air estimation to
generate APCs, shift schedules, and ETC models are also
included in interface model.

Some of the variation statistics and dynamics are obtained


Requeste d To rqu e
Mana ged Tor que from signal delivery sub-system (SDSS) analysis [31] team.
80 Unmana ged Tor que
These behavioral models derived from SDSS detailed plants
are suitable for variation study, and the parameter variations
are added in related model blocks. The key plant model
40 parameter variations and algorithm parameter variations are
chosen, and inserted as percentage or absolute variations to
2 3 4 5 6
Time (S e c ond )
7 8 9 10 nominal values in overall simulation model. Potentially, there
are thousands simulation runs required for a particular DOE
Figure 7 – Engine Torque Control Outputs simulation for the study. This drives the requirement that the
overall model shall run on a PC at speeds at least as fast as

AF_Ratio 180
maf_tps_gps AFR command
af_command MAF_g/s Spark
Final_Spark_Advance TPS Area
[ctc_throttle] maf_cyl_gps 160
throttle_percent SparkLimitMin
spark_advanceMAF_cyl_g/s map_plant Spark_Unmanaged SpkAdvNoRtds
spark_final Trq Req, Nm
map SparkAsCalUnmng
Baro, kPa Spark_Run M ng Trq , Nm
-C- engine_rpm SparkFinal
SparkRun 120
Patm, kPa MAP rpm MAP M AF , g/sec
-C- apc_plant MAP M AP , kP a
Engine_RPM trq_unmng 100
Tatm, DegC icam Engine RPM
RPM 50 Driver_Pedal Oil_Temp EngTrqUnmng
ecam TPS Position 80
pedal Baro
final_spark2plant EngOil T
Brake01 trq_brake ICAM
brake Baro 60
grade kph_plant ECAM trq_mng
0 EngTrqActual
prtccsig kPa brake_torque apc_desired APC 40
prline kPa prndl DesiredEngTrqFinal
TCC_Pr -C- 20
gear APC_Desired
900 desired gear kph Drive APC
ctc_tps_area ETC_PCT_TPS
Line Pr 0
IAT 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6
Plant Model Torque Control Model Time (S e c ond )
Plant+Algo Interface
gear kph

Figure 9 – Torque Control Simulation Results for a 170
Nm Torque Request

Figure 9 shows results for a 170 Nm torque request to the

Figure 8 – Overall Simulation Model for Variation Study overall simulation. Matlab scripts are developed to run the
overall Simulink model (Figure 8) in batch mode. Key
variables are connected to Matlab Workspace blocks to keep
CONTROL INTERFACE AND OVERALL SIMULATION simulation results after each runs. The simulation results are
MODEL FOR VARIATION STUDY saved with variation names and values, key plant model
outputs, and key torque control algorithm variables. The
With plant and algorithm models discussed, an interface model simulation plots are also generated by the scripts and saved as
is needed to complete the overall simulation model. This picture files in corresponding variation analysis folders. By
interface model contains other neighboring engine subsystem using this approach, thousands of simulation runs can be
control algorithms, and translation of plant variables to and executed within just a couple of hours, and results are ready
from torque controls. Figure 8 shows top level of the overall for further transient torque response characterization.
integrated simulations.

Plant Model receives inputs (Fuel, Throttle Percent, Spark, RESPONSE EVALUATION CRITERIA
Intake Cam Phasing Angle, and Exhaust Cam Phasing Angle)
from interface model, and generates closed-loop responses The validated simulation model with its integrated control
(MAF, MAP, RPM, APC, Vehicle Speed) for interface system and plant model is the virtual test bed used in the
algorithm models. Figure 8 shows these key interactions variation studies. A set of key model parameters (complete
among plant, interface, and algorithm models. In interface their tolerance band) were identified by our torque control
Downloaded from SAE International by Univ of Nottingham - Kings Meadow Campus, Thursday, August 09, 2018

experts as the most significant sources of system variation with the torque response characteristics (overshoot, rise time, and
respect to system response. Namely, those parameters are: steady-state error).
temperature, spark, cam phasing angle, throttle position,
volumetric efficiency, air-fuel ratio, air per cylinder and As previously mentioned, step responses to the overall system
barometric pressure. The impact on system performance of model were conducted. The initial torque value is in the
four parameters is presented here: variation due to cam neighborhood of 30 Nm which corresponds to the vehicle
position, barometric pressure, throttle position, and air per under idle operation. The simulation study consists of three
cylinder. The barometric pressure variation in kPa is added to torque step inputs of 100, 170 and 250 Nm. These steps in
plant model input. For cam phaser cam position, the variation torque represent a small, medium and large engine torque
in degree cam angle is added to the plant model. Flow request, respectively. In each of these cases, the barometric
variation in g/sec is added to throttle flow equation in the (atmospheric) pressure is varied ± 20 kPa from the nominal
engine model. Air per cylinder is a calculated value based on barometric pressure of 80 kPa. In this work, nominal does not
mass air flow measurement, and the variation in percent of this mean normal operating region, but it represents the analytical
estimate is added in the algorithm model. mid-point around which the variation is evaluated. Sweeping
the barometric pressure over this particular range does not
correspond to normal vehicle operation. Yet, the system
developers wanted this wide range for specific analytical
considerations not discussed in this paper (other barometric
variation ranges centered at 64 kPa and 100 kPa were
considered). The system response, for the three distinct torque
steps, to this variation is captured in Figures 11 – 13. Notice
that there is a family of responses curves shown on each
figure. Each trace represents a particular barometric pressure.

Commanded Torque 100 Nm with BARO = 80 kPA ± 20kPA


Commanded BARO = 100 kPa

Torque (Nm)

BARO = 80 kPa

BARO = 60 kPa
Figure 10 – Torque Response Characteristic for Damped
Response Case 40

2 3 4 5 6 7 8

A DOE study was conducted where the parameters were seconds

systematically varied (swept) to assess their individual effect

on the torque error response to a step input (in desired torque). Figure 11 – Torque Response 100 Nm with Barometric
At this stage of system development, neither drivability nor pressure swept ± 20 kPa from 80 kPa nominal
any other human factor related metrics is considered in
assessing the torque response. In particular, the responses were
evaluated only using metrics used in classical control systems Figure 11 represents a small step response in engine torque.
evaluation for second order systems: steady-state error, rise With increasing barometric pressure, the less damped is the
time, and over-shoot. These response characteristics are system response. Consequently, with increasing barometric
illustrated in Figure 10. The rise time, overshoot and steady- pressure, over shoot increases and rise time decreases.
state error are computed relative to the steady-state linearity Comparing this response with the other higher torque
specification. commands, the system behavior is less damped overall.

A larger commanded torque response (170 Nm command) is

shown in Figure 12. The system response for this command
RESULTS OF VARIATION STUDY differs from the previous case. Notice that when the barometric
pressure is lowest, i.e. in the neighborhood of 60 kPa that the
The four parameters referenced in the previous section were engine and control system cannot generate the commanded
systematically varied and torque response performance was 170 Nm. However, when the barometric pressure approaches
evaluated in a DOE based simulation study. A set of the other extreme value of 100 kPa, the system generates an
MATLAB scripts were developed to post-process the engine torque in excess of the commanded value. The effect of
simulation results. These scripts produced plots which show the barometric pressure on the steady-state error, percent
overshoot and rise time is depicted in the plots in Figure 13 for
Downloaded from SAE International by Univ of Nottingham - Kings Meadow Campus, Thursday, August 09, 2018

250 Nm torque request. The plots show that the rise time pressure ratio, the closer the engine is to saturation with
decreases and overshoot increases, as the barometric pressure respect to power generation.
is swept ±20 kPa from nominal (80 kPa).
Torque Step = 170 Nm with BARO variation

SS error [Nm]
170 Nm with BARO = 80 kPA ± 20 kPa
BARO = 100 kPa 40


Commanded 0
-20 -15 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 20

Rise Time [sec.] % Overshoot

Torque (Nm)


BARO = 80 kPa
BARO = 60 kPa 0

-20 -15 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 20
50 0.2

2 3 4 5 6 7 8
-20 -15 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 20
Baromometer [kPa]
Figure 12 – Torque Response 170 Nm with Barometric
pressure swept ± 20 kPa from 80 kPa nominal
Figure 14 – Torque Response Characteristics as functions
of barometric pressure – 170 Nm case
250 Nm with BARO = 80 kPA ± 20 kPa

Figure 14 depicts the 170 Nm step torque response

characteristics for a barometric pressure sweep of ± 20 kPa

starting from 80 kPa. Note that the minimum and maximum
values for the steady-state error, rise time and overshoot can
Torque (Nm)

BARO = 100 kPa

150 be readily obtained from these plots. These particular metrics

BARO = 80 kPa
are summarized for the 170 Nm case and found in Table 1.0.
100 The entries to this table were obtained from a simulation study
BARO = 60 kPa
where the barometric pressure (BARO), air per cylinder
(APC), cam phaser position (CAM) and throttle flow (TPS)
were swept over a particular range of interest. As before, the
2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 barometric pressure range was ± 20 kPa from the 80 kPa
nominal value. The APC range was ±10% of the nominal
value. The CAM phaser range was ± 8° of the nominal cam
Figure 13 – Torque Response 250 Nm with Barometric phaser position. Finally, the TPS range was ±5g/sec of the
pressure swept ± 20 kPa from 80 kPa nominal nominal throttle flow. These parameter variation ranges were
selected to be representative of the actual tolerance band. This
summary contains just the affect of applying the variation
However for a commanded torque of 250 Nm and the same separately. Combinations of variation were evaluated, but not
barometric pressure variation, the response differs significantly presented here.
from the others. Note that the lighter damping present in the
other two cases is not present here. In fact the response TABLE 1 System Response 170 Nm
appears much more damped and has a response characteristic
that resembles a 1st order system. As in the 170 Nm case, for System Response Characteristic (170 Nm Step)
lower values of barometric pressure, the system can not Steady-State
generate the commanded torque. Similarly, for the larger Variation % Overshoot Rise Time (s) Error (Nm)
values of barometric pressure, the system produces min max min max min max
significantly more torque than the commanded torque. BARO -19.576 56.413 0.106 0.18125 2.660 48.311

Overall, the step responses for the 100, 170 and 250 Nm APC -0.403 8.031 0.250 0.444 4.080 8.709
torque commands produce very different responses when
subject to changes in barometric pressure. As the commanded CAM 6.144 14.900 0.181 0.313 2.596 5.174
torque value increases, the system response is - in general -
more damped. Larger torque request requires a larger desired
TPS 6.067 19.23578 0.163 0.513 2.979 5.902
pressure ratio which in turn requires larger desired throttle
opening. The closer the engine operates to the maximum
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From the table, there are several conclusions which can be model development, the authors would like to thank Dr. Rong
drawn. A few are given below: Zhang and Dr. Raymond Turin (GM R&D) in deriving
physics-based air flow volumetric efficiency model and
1. Among all the sources of variation, overshoot, settling time scripts. Finally, model calibration help from Dr. YoungJoo
and rise time are impacted most significantly by barometric Lee and Myrna Sultan are appreciated.
pressure variation.

2. The second leading significant source of variation is from

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CONTACT Vm Lumped Intake Manifold Volume

E-mail: Michael.Livshiz@GM.COM