Engine Fault Diagnostics


The regulations associated with current on-board diagnostic (OBD) systems demand very strict monitoring of engine performance at certain intervals. This monitoring entails the diagnosis of any fault which could cause the tailpipe emissions of carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen to rise above legislated values. In the absence of durable and affordable sensors to monitor the concentrations of these gases on the vehicle, coupled with the extremely low emissions limits imposed by future legislation, complying with OBD requirements is an extremely challenging task.

The automotive industry currently uses physical models to predict engine performance in the normal, ‘fault-free’ condition.  The outputs from the model are then compared to measured output signals and the difference analysed to determine if a fault has occurred (Fig 1).  However, as the emissions thresholds have reduced, the OBD fault detection thresholds have decreased accordingly, thereby increasing the challenge in engine modelling and monitoring. In addition, the expense of physical model–based OBD, in terms of mathematical complexity and computational intensity, has led to research on more practical alternatives.  

Lead Institution

Queen's University Belfast

Project Funding

We have access to a range of potential funding mechanisms to support your business collaborate with this project including

ktp Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are based on partnerships between academic groups and companies who need access to skills and knowledge in order to innovate. The academic and industrial partners jointly devise and manage a two or three year programme to achieve the advances the company needs. This programme of work is carried out in the company by a KTP Associate and the resulting relationship can be very challenging and rewarding to all parties
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