Noise in vehicular automatic transmissions is a complex phenomenon involving several interacting factors. One of the contributing factors to noise for a single pair of meshing gears has been shown to be the transmission error. The transmission error (TE) is defined in terms of deviation of the speed ratio from the ideal speed ratio. It has since been hypothesized that the composite transmission error in a planetary system would be the key contributor to noise in automatic transmissions. This composite error would have to include the contributions from individual meshes and account for the configuration of the transmission system. This paper describes a design system that enables engineers to predict and study effects of parameter variation on the composite transmission error. The designer first specifies the configuration of the transmission using canonical graphs. The graph contains the elements such as gears, clutches and brakes of the transmission system as its nodes and the relationship among them for the edges. The design system uses the graph to solve for the speeds and torques. The transmission errors for the individual meshes are computed and then combined into the composite transmission error using a simple average.

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