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Technical Paper

Is Toluene a Suitable LIF Tracer for Fuel Film Measurements?

Quantitative LIF measurements of liquid fuel films on the piston of direct-injected gasoline engines are difficult to achieve because generally these films are thin and the signal strength is low. Additionally, interference from scattered laser light or background signal can be substantial. The selection of a suitable fluorescence tracer and excitation wavelength plays an important role in the success of such measurements. We have investigated the possibility of using toluene as a tracer for fuel film measurements and compare it to the use of 3-pentanone. The fuel film dynamics in a motored engine at different engine speeds, temperatures and in-cylinder swirl levels is characterized and discussed.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Dummy Response and Restraint Configuration Factors Associated with Upper Spinal Cord Injury in a Forward-Facing Child Restraint

Dummy response and restraint configuration factors associated with a known child injury environment were investigated using a spinal-cord injury accident case, a full-scale reconstruction, and sled simulations. The work is one of several studies undertaken in association with the International Task Force on Child Restraining Systems to support the development of improved neck injury criteria and restraint systems for young children. A two-vehicle crash involving a restrained child occupant was investigated in detail and reconstructed in full-scale at the Transport Canada Motor Vehicle Test Centre using the CRABI 6-Month dummy. Vehicle damage and crush characteristics closely resembled that of the case vehicles. Dummy instrumentation included head and chest accelerometers and upper and lower neck transducers. The case occupant had been facing forward and had sustained a contusion of the spinal cord at T2 that resulted in paraplegia.
Journal Article

Evidence Theory Based Automotive Battery Health Monitoring

As the number of electrical devices in modern vehicles increases, the battery becomes more critical component for the operation of vehicles. To ensure the startability of the vehicle, battery conditions such as state of charge and state of health should be properly monitored and maintained. To reduce walk-home incidents due to no-start situation, appropriate warning should be issued to the driver to advise necessary actions such as replacing or re-charging the battery. For the last couple of years, General Motors has studied and developed several battery health monitoring methods based on different battery health signatures. Yet, it is found that relying on a single method may lead to false alarm or misdetection due to lack of information or uncertainty. This paper develops the algorithm for more robust and reliable battery health monitoring and prognosis, by applying Evidence Theory to fuse different battery health signatures.
Technical Paper

A Survey of Automotive Occupant Restraint Systems: Where We’ve Been, Where We Are and Our Current Problems

In recent years, automotive occupant restraint system development has gained impetus, stimulated, in part, by new federal standards. But in the resolution of the basic question of whether automobiles should be equipped with restraints, many new problems have arisen, including, ironically, some brought on by regulation. While there is little doubt that restraint systems can provide the single most important contribution to occupant protection, such restraint systems remain useless unless adequately installed and properly worn. Current problems involve not only what concepts provide most promise for future restraint systems, but diverse and often conflicting industry and governmental opinion about what are the best interests of the motoring public. Restraints are still not provided in buses, trucks, and utility vehicles. In addition, the problems of child and infant restraints and restraints for retrofit in older vehicles remain unresolved.
Technical Paper

Strength and Balance Guided Posture Selection during a Battery Maintenance Task

Posture selection during standing exertions is a complex process involving tradeoffs between muscle strength and balance. Bodyweight utilization reduces the amount of upper-body strength required to perform a high force push/pull exertion but shifts the center-of-gravity towards the limits of the functional stability region. Thus balance constraints limit the extent to which bodyweight can be used to generate push/pull forces. This paper examines a two-handed sagittal plane pulling exertion performed during a battery maintenance task on a member of the family of medium-sized tactical vehicles (FMTV). Percent capable strength predictions and functional balance capabilities were determined for various two-handed pulling postures using the University of Michigan's 3D Static Strength Prediction Program (3DSSPP). Through this simulation study, preferred postures that minimize joint torques while maintaining balance were identified.
Technical Paper

Distance Cues and Fields of View in Rear Vision Systems

The effects of image size on perceived distance have been of concern for convex rearview mirrors as well as camera-based rear vision systems. We suggest that the importance of image size is limited to cases-such as current rearview mirrors-in which the field of view is small. With larger, richer fields of view it is likely that other distance cues will dominate image size, thereby substantially diminishing the concern that distortions of size will result in distortions of distance perception. We report results from an experiment performed in a driving simulator, with static simulated rearward images, in which subjects were asked to make judgments about the distance to a rearward vehicle. The images showed a field of view substantially wider than provided by any of the individual rearview mirrors in current systems. The field of view was 38 degrees wide and was presented on displays that were either 16.7 or 8.5 degrees wide, thus minifying images by factors of 0.44 or 0.22.
Technical Paper

A Multi-Variable High-Speed Imaging Study of Ignition Instabilities in a Spray-Guided Direct-Injected Spark-Ignition Engine

Ignition stability was studied in an optical spray guided spark ignition direct injection engine. The impact of intake air dilution with nitrogen, spark plug orientation, ignition system dwell time, and fuel injector targeting was addressed. Crank angle resolved fuel distributions were measured with a high-speed planar laser-induced fluorescence technique for hundreds of consecutive cycles. IMEP, COV of IMEP, burn rates and spark energy delivered to the gas were examined and used in conjunction with the imaging data to identify potential reasons for misfires.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Airbag-Induced Skin Abrasions

Static deployments of driver-side airbags into the legs of human subjects were used to investigate the effects of inflator capacity, internal airbag tethering, airbag fabric, and the distance from the module on airbag-induced skin abrasion. Abrasion mechanisms were described by measurements of airbag fabric velocity and target surface pressure. Airbag fabric kinematics resulting in three distinct abrasion patterns were identified. For all cases, abrasions were found to be caused primarily by high-velocity fabric impactrather than scraping associated with lateral fabric motion. Use of higher-capacity inflators increased abrasion severity, and untethered airbags produced more severe abrasions than tethered airbags at distances greater than the length of the tether. Abrasion severity decreased as the distance increased from 225 to 450 mm. Use of a finer-weave airbag fabric in place of a coarser-weave fabric did not decrease the severity of abrasion.
Technical Paper

Absorption and Fluorescence Data of Acetone, 3-Pentanone, Biacetyl, and Toluene at Engine-Specific Combinations of Temperature and Pressure

Quantitative planar laser-induced fluorescence measurements of fuel/air mixing in engines are usually based on the use of fluorescence tracers. The strength of the signals often depends on temperature, pressure and mixture composition. This complicates a quantitative analysis. The use of a small-bore optical engine for fundamental studies of absorption and fluorescence properties of fluorescence tracers is described. The temperature, pressure and composition dependence of the spectra of toluene, acetone, 3-pentanone, and biacetyl are examined under motored conditions to extend the experimental data base for the development of comprehensive models that predict the strength of fluorescence signals for a given condition.
Technical Paper

Characterization of Combustion and NO Formation in a Spray-Guided Gasoline Direct-Injection Engine using Chemiluminescence Imaging, NO-PLIF, and Fast NO Exhaust Gas Analysis

The spatial and temporal formation of nitric oxide in an optical engine operated with iso-octane fuel under spray-guided direct-injection conditions was studied with a combination of laser-induced fluorescence imaging, UV-chemiluminescence, and cycle resolved NO exhaust gas analysis. NO formation during early and late (homogeneous vs. stratified) injection conditions were compared. Strong spatial preferences and cyclic variations in the NO formation were observed depending on engine operating conditions. While engine-out NO levels are substantially lower for stratified engine operation, cyclic variations of NO formation are substantially higher than for homogeneous, stoichiometric operation.
Technical Paper

Inhomogeneities in HCCI Combustion: An Imaging Study

A four-valve-pentroof, direct-injection, optical engine fueled with n-heptane has been operated at four different steady-state HCCI operating conditions including 10% and 65% residuals, both at low and high swirl conditions. Both, planar toluene LIF and volume chemiluminescence show large scale inhomogeneity in the ensemble averaged images. The interpretation of the toluene-tracer LIF signals (when premixed with the fresh-air charge) as a marker for reaction homogeneity is discussed. A binarization scheme and a statistical analysis of the LIF images were applied to the per-cycle planar-LIF images revealing inhomogeneities both from cycle-to-cycle and within the regions of individual cycles that track with the average heat release rate. Comparison of these two homogeneity metrics between the four operating conditions reveals weak but discernable differences.
Technical Paper

Real Time Detection Filters for Onboard Diagnosis of Incipient Failures

This paper presents the real time implementation of detection filters for the diagnosis of incipient failures in electronically controlled internal combustion (IC) engines. The detection filters are implemented in a production vehicle. Recent results [1] have demonstrated the feasibility of a model-based failure detection and isolation (FDI) methodology for detecting partially failed components in electronically controlled vehicle subsystems. The present paper describes the real time application of the FDI concept to the detection of faults in sensors associated with the engine/controller In a detection filter, the performance of the engine/controller system is continuously compared to a prediction based on sensor measurements and an analytical model (typically a control model) of the system. Any discrepancy between actual and predicted performance is analyzed to identify the unique failure signatures related to specific system components.
Technical Paper

Slip Resistance Predictions for Various Metal Step Materials, Shoe Soles and Contaminant Conditions

The relationship of slip resistance (or coefficient of friction) to safe climbing system maneuvers on high profile vehicles has become an issue because of its possible connection to falls of drivers. To partially address this issue, coefficients of friction were measured for seven of the more popular fabricated metal step materials. Evaluated on these steps were four types of shoe materials (crepe, leather, ribbed-rubber, and oil-resistant-rubber) and three types of contaminant conditions (dry, wet-water, and diesel fuel). The final factor evaluated was the direction of sole force application. Results showed that COF varied primarily as a function of sole material and the presence of contaminants. Unexpectedly, few effects were attributible to the metal step materials. Numerous statistical interactions suggested that adequate levels of COF are more likely to be attained by targeting control on shoe soles and contaminants rather than the choice of a particular step material.
Technical Paper

Quantifying the Direct Field of View when Using Driver-Side Rearview Mirrors

In a static field study we tested drivers’ abilities to detect vehicles in the periphery of their direct fields of view while they gazed toward the driver-side exterior rearview mirror of a passenger car. The results indicate that both younger and older drivers can detect vehicles with reasonable efficiency even in far peripheral vision. However, the results also indicate that using peripheral vision entails a cost in terms of lengthened reaction time. Although that cost seems modest in comparison with the normal durations of glances to rearview mirrors and of direct looks to the rear, it is not clear from this study alone how the reaction time cost might influence the scanning strategies that drivers actually use in driving. The present study was oriented more to testing drivers’ basic visual capabilities than to outlining their overall strategies.
Technical Paper

Modifying Motions for Avoiding Obstacles

Interference between physical objects in the workspace and the moving human body may cause serious problems, including errors in manual operation, physical damage and trauma from the collision, and increased biomechanical stresses due to movement reorganization for avoiding the obstacles. Therefore, a computer algorithm to detect possible collisions and simulate human motions to avoid obstacles will be an important tool for computer-aided ergonomics and optimization of system design in the early stage of a design process. In the present study, we present a method of modifying motions for obstacle avoidance when the object intrudes near the center of the planned motion. We take the motion modification approach, as we believe that for a certain class of obstacle avoidance problems, a person would modify a pre-planned motion that would result in a collision to a new one that is collision-free, as opposed to organizing a totally unique motion pattern.
Technical Paper

Modeling of Effort Perception in Lifting and Reaching Tasks

Although biomechanics models can predict the stress on the musculoskeletal system, they cannot predict how the muscle load associated with exertion is perceived. The short-term goal of the present study was to model the perception of effort in lifting and reaching tasks. The long-term goal is to determine the correlation between objective and subjective measures of effort and use this information to predict fatigue or the risk of injury. Lifting and reaching tasks were performed in seated and standing situations. A cylindrical object and a box were moved with one hand and two hands, respectively, from a home location to shelves distributed in the space around the subject. The shoulder and torso effort required to perform these tasks were rated on a ten point visual analog scale.
Technical Paper

Prediction of Head Orientation based on the Visual Image of a Three Dimensional Space

Head movements contribute to the acquisition of targets in visually guided tasks such as reaching and grasping. It has been found that head orientation is generally related to the spatial location of the visual target. The movements of the head in a three-dimensional space are described using six degrees of freedom including translations along x-, y- and z-axis plus rotations about x-, y- and z-axis. While the control of head movement is heavily dependent upon visual perception, head movements lead to a change in the visual perception of the task space as well. In the present study we analyzed head movements in a set of driving simulation experiments. Also a theoretical reconstruction of the perceived task space after head movements was modeled by a statistical regression. This process included the transformation of the task space from a global reference frame (earth-fixed) into a perceived space in a head-centered reference frame (head-fixed).
Technical Paper

Simulating Complex Manual Handling Motions Via Motion Modification: Performance Evaluation of Motion Modification Algorithm

Simulation of human motions in virtual environments is an essential component of human CAD (Computer-aided Design) systems. In our earlier SAE papers, we introduced a novel motion simulation approach termed Memory-based Motion Simulation (MBMS). MBMS utilizes existing motion databases and predicts novel motions by modifying existing ‘root’ motions through the use of the motion modification algorithm. MBMS overcomes some limitations of existing motion simulation models, as 1) it simulates different types of motions on a single, unified framework, 2) it simulates motions based on alternative movement techniques, and 3) like real humans, it can learn new movement skills continually over time. The current study evaluates the prediction accuracy of MBMS to prove its utility as a predictive tool for computer-aided ergonomics. A total of 627 whole-body one-handed load transfer motions predicted by the algorithm are compared with actual human motions obtained in a motion capture experiment.
Technical Paper

Redesigning Workstations Utilizing Motion Modification Algorithm

Workstation design is one of the most essential components of proactive ergonomics, and digital human models have gained increasing popularity in the analysis and design of current and future workstations (Chaffin 2001). Using digital human technology, it is possible to simulate interactions between humans and current or planned workstations, and conduct quantitative ergonomic analyses based on realistic human postures and motions. Motion capture has served as the primary means by which to acquire and visualize human motions in a digital environment. However, motion capture only provides motions for a specific person performing specific tasks. Albeit useful, at best this allows for the analysis of current or mocked-up workstations only. The ability to subsequently modify these motions is required to efficiently evaluate alternative design possibilities and thus improve design layouts.
Technical Paper

Distance Perception in Camera-Based Rear Vision Systems

The importance of eye-to-display distance for distance perception in rear vision may depend on the type of display. At least in terms of its influence on the effective magnification of images, eye-to-display distance is almost irrelevant for flat rearview mirrors, but it is important for convex rearview mirrors and for other displays, such as video displays, that create images closer to the driver than the actual objects of interest. In the experiment we report here, we investigate the influence of eye-to-display distance on distance perception with both flat rearview mirrors and camera-based video displays. The results indicate that a simple model of distance perception based on the visual angles of images is not very successful. Visual angles may be important, but it appears that relationships between images of distant objects and the frames of the displays are also important. Further work is needed to fully understand how drivers might judge distance in camera-based displays.