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Technical Paper

A Control Algorithm for Low Pressure - EGR Systems Using a Smith Predictor with Intake Oxygen Sensor Feedback

Low-pressure cooled EGR (LP-cEGR) systems can provide significant improvements in spark-ignition engine efficiency and knock resistance. However, open-loop control of these systems is challenging due to low pressure differentials and the presence of pulsating flow at the EGR valve. This research describes a control structure for Low-pressure cooled EGR systems using closed loop feedback control along with internal model control. A Smith Predictor based PID controller is utilized in combination with an intake oxygen sensor for feedback control of EGR fraction. Gas transport delays are considered as dead-time delays and a Smith Predictor is one of the conventional methods to address stability concerns of such systems. However, this approach requires a plant model of the air-path from the EGR valve to the sensor.
Journal Article

A Nonlinear Model Predictive Control Strategy with a Disturbance Observer for Spark Ignition Engines with External EGR

This research proposes a control system for Spark Ignition (SI) engines with external Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) based on model predictive control and a disturbance observer. The proposed Economic Nonlinear Model Predictive Controller (E-NMPC) tries to minimize fuel consumption for a number of engine cycles into the future given an Indicated Mean Effective Pressure (IMEP) tracking reference and abnormal combustion constraints like knock and combustion variability. A nonlinear optimization problem is formulated and solved in real time using Sequential Quadratic Programming (SQP) to obtain the desired control actuator set-points. An Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) based observer is applied to estimate engine states, combining both air path and cylinder dynamics. The EKF engine state(s) observer is augmented with disturbance estimation to account for modeling errors and/or sensor/actuator offset.
Journal Article

A Real-Time Model for Spark Ignition Engine Combustion Phasing Prediction

As engines are equipped with an increased number of control actuators to meet fuel economy targets they become more difficult to control and calibrate. The large number of control actuators encourages the investigation of physics-based control strategies to reduce calibration time and complexity. Of particular interest is spark timing control and calibration since it has a significant influence on engine efficiency, emissions, vibration and durability. Spark timing determination to achieve a desired combustion phasing is currently an empirical process that occurs during the calibration phase of engine development. This process utilizes a large number of stored surfaces and corrections to account for the wide range of operating environments and conditions that a given engine will experience. An obstacle to realizing feedforward physics-based combustion phasing control is the requirement for an accurate and fast combustion model.
Technical Paper

A Review of Spark-Ignition Engine Air Charge Estimation Methods

Accurate in-cylinder air charge estimation is important for engine torque determination, controlling air-to-fuel ratio, and ensuring high after-treatment efficiency. Spark ignition (SI) engine technologies like variable valve timing (VVT) and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) are applied to improve fuel economy and reduce pollutant emissions, but they increase the complexity of air charge estimation. Increased air-path complexity drives the need for cost effective solutions that produce high air mass prediction accuracy while minimizing sensor cost, computational effort, and calibration time. A large number of air charge estimation techniques have been developed using a range of sensors sets combined with empirical and/or physics-based models. This paper provides a technical review of research in this area, focused on SI engines.
Journal Article

Aerodynamics of a Pickup Truck: Combined CFD and Experimental Study

This paper describes a computational and experimental effort to document the detailed flow field around a pickup truck. The major objective was to benchmark several different computational approaches through a series of validation simulations performed at Clemson University (CU) and overseen by those performing the experiments at the GM R&D Center. Consequently, no experimental results were shared until after the simulations were completed. This flow represented an excellent test case for turbulence modeling capabilities developed at CU. Computationally, three different turbulence models were employed. One steady simulation used the realizable k-ε model. The second approach was an unsteady RANS simulation, which included a turbulence closure model developed in-house. This simulation captured the unsteady shear layer rollup and breakdown over the front of the hood that was expected and seen in the experiments but unattainable with other off-the-shelf turbulence models.
Technical Paper

An Innovative Electric Motor Cooling System for Hybrid Vehicles - Model and Test

Enhanced electric motor performance in transportation vehicles can improve system reliability and durability over rigorous operating cycles. The design of innovative heat rejection strategies in electric motors can minimize cooling power consumption and associated noise generation while offering configuration flexibility. This study investigates an innovative electric motor cooling strategy through bench top thermal testing on an emulated electric motor. The system design includes passive (e.g., heat pipes) cooling as the primary heat rejection pathway with supplemental conventional cooling using a variable speed coolant pump and radiator fan(s). The integrated thermal structure, “cradle”, transfers heat from the motor shell towards an end plate for heat dissipation to the ambient surroundings or transmission to an external thermal bus to remote heat exchanger.
Technical Paper

Combined Synchrotron X-Ray Diffraction and Digital Image Correlation Technique for Measurement of Austenite Transformation with Strain in TRIP-Assisted Steels

The strain-induced diffusionless shear transformation of retained austenite to martensite during straining of transformation induced plasticity (TRIP) assisted steels increases strain hardening and delays necking and fracture leading to exceptional ductility and strength, which are attractive for automotive applications. A novel technique that provides the retained austenite volume fraction variation with strain with improved precision is presented. Digital images of the gauge section of tensile specimens were first recorded up to selected plastic strains with a stereo digital image correlation (DIC) system. The austenite volume fraction was measured by synchrotron X-ray diffraction from small squares cut from the gage section. Strain fields in the squares were then computed by localizing the strain measurement to the corresponding region of a given square during DIC post-processing of the images recorded during tensile testing.
Technical Paper

Cylinder-to-Cylinder Variation of Losses in Intake Regions of IC Engines

Very large scale, 3D, viscous, turbulent flow simulations, involving 840,000 finite volume cells and the complete form of the time-averaged Navier-Stokes equations, were conducted to study the mechanisms responsible for total pressure losses in the entire intake system (inlet duct, plenum, ports, valves, and cylinder) of a straight-six diesel engine. A unique feature of this paper is the inclusion of physical mechanisms responsible for cylinder-to-cylinder variation of flows between different cylinders, namely, the end-cylinder (#1) and the middle cylinder (#3) that is in-line with the inlet duct. Present results are compared with cylinder #2 simulations documented in a recent paper by the Clemson group, Taylor, et al. (1997). A validated comprehensive computational methodology was used to generate grid independent and fully convergent results.
Technical Paper

Design of a Scaled Off-Vehicle Wheel Testing Device for Textile Tread Wear

This paper describes the development of test equipment for determining the wear viability of various lunar wheel tread materials with service lives of up to ten years and 10,000 km. The problem is defined, and concepts are proposed, evaluated, and selected. An abrasive turntable is chosen for simplicity and accuracy of modeling the original wheel configuration. Additionally, the limitations of the test are identified, such as the sensitivity to off-vertical loading, and future work is projected in order to more effectively continue testing. Finally, this paper presents the challenges of collaborative research effort between an undergraduate research team and industry, with government lab representatives as customers
Technical Paper

Detection of Presence and Posture of Vehicle Occupants Using a Capacitance Sensing Mat

Capacitance sensing is the technology that detects the presence of nearby objects by measuring the change in capacitance. A change in capacitance is triggered either by a change in dielectric constant, area of overlap or distance of separation between the electrodes of the capacitor. It is a technology that finds wide use in applications such as touch screens, proximity sensing etc. Drawing motivation from such applications, this paper investigates how capacitive sensing can be employed to detect the presence and posture of occupants inside vehicles. Compared to existing solutions, the proposed approach is low-cost, easy to deploy and highly efficient. The sensing system consists of a capacitance-sensing mat that is embedded with copper foils and an associated sensing circuitry. Inside the mat the foils are arranged in rows and columns to form several touch-nodes across the surface of the mat.
Technical Paper

Development of New Turbulence Models and Computational Methods for Automotive Aerodynamics and Heat Transfer

This paper is a review of turbulence models and computational methods that have been produced at Clemson University's Advanced Computational Research Laboratory. The goal of the turbulence model development has been to create physics-based models that are economically feasible and can be used in a competitive environment, where turnaround time is a critical factor. Given this goal, all of the work has been focused on Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulations in the eddy-viscosity framework with the majority of the turbulence models having three transport equations in addition to mass, momentum, and energy. Several areas have been targeted for improvement in turbulence modeling for complex flows such as those found in motorsports aerodynamics: the effects of streamline curvature and rotation on the turbulence field, laminar-turbulent transition, and separated shear layer rollup and breakdown.
Technical Paper

Effects of Condenser Two-Phase Flow Characteristics on a Capillary Pumped Loop

One of the intrinsic characteristics found in CPL operation is the oscillatory behavior of the pressure drop, even noted under seemingly steady operation. This study focused on the role of the condensing process and its intrinsic instabilities upon the differential pressure oscillations recorded in the CPL. Through an analytical study of condensing instabilities and an experimental study based on the correlation between pressure records and condensing flow visualization, the impact of slug flow phenomenon occurring in the condensing path was investigated. High amplitude oscillations were seen to be linked with liquid slug phenomena in the way that slug striking the final vapor-liquid interface generated pressure pulses.
Technical Paper

Integrated Engine States Estimation Using Extended Kalman Filter and Disturbance Observer

Accurate estimation of engine state(s) is vital for engine control systems to achieve their designated objectives. The fusion of sensors can significantly improve the estimation results in terms of accuracy and precision. This paper investigates using an Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) to estimate engine state(s) for Spark Ignited (SI) engines with the external EGR system. The EKF combines air path sensors with cylinder pressure feedback through a control-oriented engine cycle domain model. The model integrates air path dynamics, torque generation, exhaust gas temperature, and residual gas mass. The EKF generates a cycle-based estimation of engine state(s) for model-based control algorithms, which is not the focus of this paper. The sensor and noise dynamics are analyzed and integrated into the EKF formulation. To account for ‘non-white’ disturbances including modeling errors and sensor/actuator offset, the EKF engine state(s) observer is augmented with disturbance state(s) estimation.
Technical Paper

Modeling and Learning of Object Placing Tasks from Human Demonstrations in Smart Manufacturing

In this paper, we present a framework for the robot to learn how to place objects to a workpiece by learning from humans in smart manufacturing. In the proposed framework, the rational scene dictionary (RSD) corresponding to the keyframes of task (KFT) are used to identify the general object-action-location relationships. The Generalized Voronoi Diagrams (GVD) based contour is used to determine the relative position and orientation between the object and the corresponding workpiece at the final state. In the learning phase, we keep tracking the image segments in the human demonstration. For the moment when a spatial relation of some segments are changed in a discontinuous way, the state changes are recorded by the RSD. KFT is abstracted after traversing and searching in RSD, while the relative position and orientation of the object and the corresponding mount are presented by GVD-based contours for the keyframes.
Technical Paper

Modeling and Validation of Automotive “Smart” Thermal Management System Architectures

The functionality and performance of an internal combustion (spark or compression ignition) engine's thermal management system can be significantly enhanced through the application of mechatronics technology. The replacement of the conventional thermostat valve and mechanical coolant pump in the heating/cooling system by a servo-motor driven smart valve and variable flow pump permits powertrain control module regulated coolant flow through the engine block and radiator. In this paper, a dynamic mathematical model will be created for a 4.6L spark ignition engine to analyze various thermal management system architectures. The designs to be studied include the factory configuration, a smart valve upgrade, and the smart valve combined with a variable flow pump and radiator fan. Representative results are presented and discussed to demonstrate improvements in the engine warm-up time, temperature tracking, and component power consumption.
Technical Paper

Quantification of Linear Approximation Error for Model Predictive Control of Spark-Ignited Turbocharged Engines

Modern turbocharged spark-ignition engines are being equipped with an increasing number of control actuators to meet fuel economy, emissions, and performance targets. The response time variations between engine control actuators tend to be significant during transients and necessitate highly complex actuator scheduling routines. Model Predictive Control (MPC) has the potential to significantly reduce control calibration effort as compared to the current methodologies that are based on decentralized feedback control strategies. MPC strategies simultaneously generate all actuator responses by using a combination of current engine conditions and optimization of a control-oriented plant model. To achieve real-time control, the engine model and optimization processes must be computationally efficient without sacrificing effectiveness. Most MPC systems intended for real-time control utilize a linearized model that can be quickly evaluated using a sub-optimal optimization methodology.
Technical Paper

Testing a Formula SAE Racecar on a Seven-Poster Vehicle Dynamics Simulator

Vehicle dynamics simulation is one of the newest and most valuable technologies being applied in the racing world today. Professional designers and race teams are investing heavily to test and improve the dynamics of their suspension systems through this new technology. This paper discusses the testing of one of Clemson University's most recent Formula SAE racecars on a seven-poster vehicle dynamics simulator; commonly known as a “shaker rig.” Testing of the current dampers using a shock dynamometer was conducted prior to testing and results are included for further support of conclusions. The body of the paper is a discussion of the setup and testing procedures involved with the dynamic simulator. The results obtained from the dynamic simulator tests are then analyzed in conjunction with the shock dynamometer results. Conclusions are formed from test results and methods for future improvements to be applied in Formula SAE racing are suggested.
Technical Paper

Wear Resistance of Lunar Wheel Treads Made of Polymeric Fabrics

The purpose of this research is to characterize the wear resistance of wheel treads made of polymeric woven and non-woven fabrics. Experimental research is used to characterize two wear mechanisms: (1) external wear due to large sliding between the tread and rocks, and (2) external wear due to small sliding between the tread and abrasive sand. Experimental setups include an abrasion tester and a small-scale merry-go-round where the tread is attached to a deformable rolling wheel. The wear resistance is characterized using various measures including, quantitatively, by the number of cycles to failure, and qualitatively, by micro-visual inspection of the fibers’ surface. This paper describes the issues related to each experiment and discusses the results obtained with different polymeric materials, fabric densities and sizes. The predominant wear mechanism is identified and should then be used as one of the criteria for further design of the tread.