Spark ignition engine in-cylinder air charge estimation is important for air-to-fuel ratio control, maintaining high after-treatment efficiency, and determination of current engine torque. Current cylinder air charge estimation methodologies generally depend upon either a mass air flow (MAF) sensor or a manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor individually. Methods based on either sensor have their own advantages and disadvantages. Some production vehicles are equipped with both MAF and MAP sensors to offer air charge estimation and other benefits. This research proposes several observer based cylinder air charge estimation methods that take advantage of both MAF and MAP sensors to potentially reduce calibration work while providing acceptable transient and steady-state accuracy with low computational load. This research also compares several common air estimation methods with the proposed observer based algorithms using steady-state and transient dynamometer tests and a rapid-prototype engine controller. With appropriate tuning the proposed observer based methods are able to estimate cylinder air charge mass under different engine operating conditions based on the manifold model and available sensors. Methods are validated and compared based on a continuous tip-in tip-out operating condition.

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