A real-time pressure estimation algorithm for closed-loop combustion control

Ahmed Al-Durra, Marcello Canova, Stephen Yurkovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The cylinder pressure is arguably the most important variable characterizing the combustion process in internal combustion engines. In light of the recent advances in combustion technologies and in engine control, the use of cylinder pressure is now frequently considered as a feedback signal for closed-loop combustion control algorithms. In order to generate an accurate pressure trace for real-time combustion control and diagnostics, the output of the in-cylinder pressure transducer must be conditioned with signal processing methods to mitigate the well-known issues of offset and noise. While several techniques have been proposed for processing the cylinder pressure signal with limited computational burden, most of the available methods still require one to apply low-pass filters or moving average windows in order to mitigate the noise. This ultimately limits the opportunity of exploiting the in-cylinder pressure feedback for a cycle-by-cycle control of the combustion process. To this extent, this paper presents an estimation algorithm that extracts the pressure signal from the in-cylinder sensor in real-time, allowing for estimating the 50% burn rate location and IMEP on a cycle-by-cycle basis. The proposed approach relies on a model-based estimation algorithm whose starting point is a crank-angle based engine combustion model that predicts the in-cylinder pressure from the definition of a burn rate function. Linear parameter varying (LPV) techniques are then used to expand the region of estimation to cover the engine operating map, as well as allowing for real-time cylinder estimation during transients. The estimator is tested on the experimental data collected on an engine dynamometer as well as on a high-fidelity engine simulator. The results obtained show the effectiveness of the estimator in reconstructing the cylinder pressure on a crank-angle basis and in rejecting measurement noise and modeling errors, with considerably low computation effort.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)411-427
Number of pages17
JournalMechanical Systems and Signal Processing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 20 Jul 2013


  • Estimation
  • Extended Kalman Filter
  • Genetic algorithms
  • Internal combustion engines
  • Linear parameter varying systems


Dive into the research topics of 'A real-time pressure estimation algorithm for closed-loop combustion control'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this