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ARL Image The Automotive Research Laboratory was founded in 2002 with funding under the Major Research Instrumentation program from the National Science Foundation, Ford Motor Co, Johnson Matthey, and the Chemical, Mechanical and Electrical & Computer Engineering departments at Villanova University, (Grant # CTS-0215920). The Laboratory is equipped with a state-of-the-art fast-response exhaust gas analysis system, a rapid prototyping system for developing and implementing novel engine and after treatment strategies, and a comprehensive instrumentation and data acquisition suite. The provision of specially blended reference fuels and dyno-aged catalysts are also important resources for Laboratory.


Fast Response Exhaust Gas Analysis: Control Units

ARL Facilities 1 A suite of fast response Cambustion Analyzers are used to measure the CO, CO2, HC, and NO response of the after treatment system on millisecond timescales. These control units maintain the temperatures and pressures of the analyzer heads shown below, and feeds them with known calibration gases during the calibration phase.

Fast Response Exhaust Gas Analysis: Sample Heads

The analyzer heads sample the exhaust gas through heated capillary tubes.

V & F Hydrogen Mass Spectrometer

ARL Facilities 2 Hydrogen is not a pollutant, and is therefore rarely measured in engine experiments. However, hydrogen has a strong biasing effect on the production UEGO and HEGO oxygen sensors which are an integral part of the control strategy. By measuring H2 we are able to measure, model and potentially exploit this 'biasing' / cross-sensitivity phenomenon.

Production UEGO / HEGO and NOx Sensors

The exhaust system is heavily instrumented with the various types of sensors used in production vehicles. The wide-ranging USGO sensors use ETAS AWS2 signal conditioning units. A detailed understanding of these sensors, their cross-sensitivities, and their interaction with catalyst dynamics is an important area of study.

Rapid Prototyping: Design

ARL Facilities 4The entire engine management control strategy is coded in Matlab and Simulink, and rapid prototyping / automatic code generation techniques are used to implement these designs on the OpenECU hardware shown below.

Rapid Prototyping: Implementation

ARL Facilities 5Pi Technolog's OpenECU hardware executes the compiled control strategy in real time and communicates over CAN with the ATI Vision online calibration and data logging tool shown at right.