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The Project


PREDIMOT - Predictive Control of Combustion Engines


New emission limits still force the automotive industry to improve combustion engines. This can be done by changes in the hardware (construction, catalysts, filters...) or by modifications in the software, especially the control strategy for injection and airpath. Commercial engine control units are still developed in a very heuristic way for the airpath and reach a huge and fault-prone complexity. To overcome those problems, modern control strategies like predictive control depict a promising alternative but needs experts on engine, control and software design.

The aim of the project is to apply predictive techniques to control the air path of internal combustion engines. Until now, the engine management is based on static maps, those tuning is expensive, time consuming and largely empirical. The goal of the research is to develop automatic tuning procedures based on predictive strategies for the synthesis of the control laws to minimize pollutant emissions and fuel consumption. The team in UA (Upper Austria) will be mainly involved in the development of a mathematical model of the air path of diesel engines, of a simulation environment, in the definition of the control schemes and in the final validation tests using its own facilities. The partner from LR (Lombardy Region) will develop the corresponding activity for gasoline engines. Since many modeling and estimation problems are similar, appropriate techniques will be jointly developed and shared. The partners from BW (Baden W├╝rtemberg) will mainly focus on the algorithmic aspects concerning the design of predictive controllers for nonlinear systems and on the development of optimization algorithms for systems with fast dynamics. The control and optimization methods will deeply take into account the nature of the engine models, by exploiting either the possibility to finally obtain a fast (suboptimal) solution suitable for on-line implementation or to complete off-line the design phase and to implement online the control laws with interpolation and approximation techniques.