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An Ion-Sense Engine-Fine-Tuner

IEEE Control Systems: Special Issue on Powertrain Control, October 1998

Combustion engines are highly engineered complex system. Many variables like engine speed and load are measured, but there are many other variables influencing engine performance that are not measured. One such variable that strongly influences efficiency and power is air humidity. Even with such varying unmeasured variables, it is well known that a skilled human mechanic can diagnose and fine tune a car according to the environment and circumstances at a certain place and day. Inspired by these skills in combination with the development of computing power, it is possible to think of virtual engine-doctors and virtual engine-fine-tuners. Here an ion-sense engine-fine-tuner has been developed based on spark advance feed-back control using ionization current interpretation. It is shown, as a main result, that it can control the engine back to its optimal operation even when subjected to humidity in the intake air.

Lars Nielsen and Lars Eriksson

IEEE Control Systems, 1998

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