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Ricardo Announces Breakthrough Technology for Next-Generation Engine Design


VAN BUREN TWP., Mich., November 18, 2008: Ricardo, Inc., a leading independent provider of technology, product innovation and engineering solutions to the world's automotive, military, transport and new energy industries, today announced the launch of WAVE-RT, the first version of Ricardo's leading engine-simulation product specifically designed to enable highly accurate, real-time simulation to become an embedded part of the engine-management system development process.

"WAVE-RT is a major step forward for engine design, opening new avenues for simulation-driven refinement and optimization of powertrain products for the ultra-low emissions and fuel economy challenges of tomorrow," said Ricardo Software president Steve Sapsford. "The CAE process benefits are also extremely compelling, enabling much closer integration of activity between powertrain and control engineers, potentially speeding up the process of global engine development significantly."

In its first release, WAVE-RT will support both gasoline and diesel engines with turbochargers, intercoolers and EGR circuits. It will be supported on numerous commercial Hardware-in-the-Loop (HiL) systems from well-known vendors such as ETAS, The MathWorks and Concurrent. Ricardo will work with other HiL vendors in the future to ensure support for additional platforms.

WAVE-RT Simulates Individual Cylinders

The accuracy of airflow simulation with WAVE-RT allows development of concepts such as variable valve timing and lift control, including more unusual examples such as negative overlap for controlled auto-ignition or for camless engine control. The fact that individual cylinders are separately represented also enables the development and validation of complex control strategies such as closed-loop combustion control, fully accounting for variations between cylinders arising from the different air paths, as well as key associated variables such as air mass and residuals or exhaust temperature. With wave propagation effects fully captured, the transient response of the model is much closer to that of the real engine than it would be with mean-value engine models typically used for this application.

Models Generated Automatically

Because the WAVE-RT model is automatically generated from an existing high resolution and previously validated donor WAVE engine model, there is very little calibration needed to produce the real-time model. The physical nature of the model means that engine faults are immediately transparent, allowing more rapid and thorough testing of on-board diagnostics and potentially enabling its use as an air-flow estimator for next-generation model-based control strategies.

The speed of model generation also enables the development of control strategies to begin at a much earlier stage in an engine development program, and it protects against delays arising due to design changes. Because engine models tend to evolve during development programs, it is an advantage to be able to produce an accurate real-time model at each iteration. Quality assurance and traceability are also improved because a single high fidelity WAVE model is used as the basis of both initial simulation work and HiL testing.

CAE Process Benefits

The key CAE process benefit compared to previous methods is the automatic conversion from a WAVE model to real-time format using WaveBuild. This is inherently faster and more repeatable than creating a large multi-dimensional map or any other interpretive process. Additionally, if the design of the engine changes in a fundamental way, the new model can be created from the engine design model at the click of a button. Repetition of 1D simulations or test-bed experiments is not required, and the effort required to calibrate the model is effectively removed.