Automotive Research Laboratory

Villanova is among only a handful of Universities worldwide that are equipped with the highly specialized fast response gas analysis, and engine management system prototyping facilities necessary to measure, model, and control the dynamics of catalytic exhaust after-treatment systems. The facility is truly state-of-the-art, thanks to a recent $328k National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation grant award.

The key system components include:

  • Combustion f NOx400 Fast CLD system for dual channel NO measurement
  • Combustion HRF 500 Fast FID for dual channel HC measurement, (2ms response time)
  • Combustion NDIR500 Fast NDIR system for dual channel CO & CO2 measurement
  • V&F H-Sense Fast Mass Spectrometer, for single channel measurement of H2
  • Visteon Black Oak Calibration Powertrain Control Module
  • ATI VISION Software for Engine Calibration and experiment scheduling
  • dSpace Modular Rapid Prototyping System for implementation of control and OBD strategies
  • Bosch HEGO and UEGO production Exhaust Gas Oxygen (lambda) sensors
  • Production NOx sensors
  • Three-way catalysts of different age for diagnostics experimentation
  • 250 HP eddy current dynamometer with dyneLock controller
  • Combustion air handler for controlled intake temperature and humidity
  • New test cell (constructed 1998), with dedicated fuel and gas storage

Exhaust gas transients are generated by modifying the calibration of a production Powertrain Control Module using state-of-the-art calibration software. Pre- and post-catalyst gas samples are recorded both from the fast response gas analyzers, and from the production HEGO, UEGO and NOx sensors on which production systems must rely. This data is used to develop real time models for the catalyst/sensor system, and new model-based control and diagnostics strategies. The strategies are designed in Simulink, and autocoded to bypass the standard strategies using the dSpace rapid prototyping system.

Automotive Research Laboratory