An inverse dynamics scheme, based on a detailed differential-algebraic model of the crank-slider mechanism of a single cylinder internal combustion (IC) engine, is developed for the computation of the instantaneous frictional losses of engine components. The proposed approach requires accurate measurements of the independent and superfluous coordinates of the crank-slider mechanism as well as their time derivatives. This was achieved by implementing a sliding mode observer, previously developed by the authors, to provide the required estimates of the state variables. The aforementioned observer is suitable for use with differential-algebraic nonlinear equations of motion and was shown to be robust to both modeling imprecision and external disturbances. The digital simulation results show the capability of the combined inverse dynamics scheme with the observer in producing good estimates of the instantaneous frictional losses of the various engine components.

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