How Many Angels Can Dance on the Head of a Pin? Development of Next Generation Turbodiesel Controls


This talk will cover several aspects of the emerging problems faced in diesel engine control development.  In particular the interaction of three issues will be considered:


(i)   Increasingly stringent regulation on diesel engine emissions is leading to the introduction of additional hardware subsystems and tighter control performance requirements.

(ii) Diesel engine powertrains are highly nonlinear plants, with significant multivariable interactions among subsystems, and many different engine layouts are encountered in practice.

(iii) The computing environment in modern automotive electronic control units (ECUs) is very restricted with a processor speed is typically slower than 60MHz and only a few MB of flash memory.


The convergence of these three issues is creating control engineering requirements and development opportunities.  While the emissions requirements must be met according to law, the market demands require fuel efficiency, drivability, and low cost.


Achieving a successful tradeoff of these conflicting objectives requires a higher degree of coordination among subsystems, reliable performance, and addressing of actuator and state constraints for these highly nonlinear systems.  In addition, to be viable in production, any developed control approach must integrate into the software and control development life cycle and its real-time component must be fit into existing electronic control unit (ECU) footprints and software platform architectures.


This talk will give an overview of Honeywell’s recent development work to provide automotive control engineers with intuitive tools for the design of advanced controllers.

The results of this work will be illustrated via several examples obtained on production diesel engines.  In the course of this talk we will also touch on some of the issues related to moving a control engineering concept from theory into industrial practice.