Presented in this paper is a multivariable linear feedback controller design methodology for idle speed control of spark-ignition engines. The engine is modeled as a multi-input, single-output system. The proposed feedback control system employs both throttle and ignition timing to control engine speed and engine roughness. Throttle is used to attenuate low frequency components of the speed error and reject mean speed errors. Spark advance is used to reduce cylinder-to-cylinder differences in torque production by limiting high frequency speed deviations. The algorithm is executed in the crank-angle domain, and the internal model principle serves as the basis for cylinder torque balancing. The nonlinear relationship between ignition timing and torque production is explicitly incorporated into the design process using a sector bound. A loop shaping approach is proposed to design the feedback controller, and absolute stability of the nonlinear closed-loop system is guaranteed through the Tsypkin Criterion. Experimental results from implementation on a Ford 4.6L V-8 engine are provided.

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