Introduction of ECU Calibration tool, STARS Calibrate

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Courtesy of HORIBA Europe GmbH

The control of engine is becoming more complicated over the years for balancing clean exhaust gas with high merchantability in addition to the fuel mileage improvement demand today and is controlled by the computer, ECU (Engine Control Unit). As the example of complexes, there are the implementation of Variable Valve Technology, Direct Injection to Gasoline Engine/Common-Rail Injection to Diesel Engine and so on went with the exponential growth of those control targets, and how optimize the control depending on driving conditions will give the large influence on engine performance. Therefore, the decision making work on the optimum value, [ECU Calibration Task], is becoming the large burden of development and making efficient of the development is strongly requested. The [STARS Calibrate] which is [ECU Calibration Tool] for performing the work efficiently is introduced in this paper. This product is joint developed by HORIBA and Ricardo who is global engineering company, and especially its DoE part is coming from their “Efficient Calibration (ηCAL)” tools.


Balance among high fuel efficiency, clean exhaust gas and marketability are requirements for the present internalcombustion engines in automobiles, and the best perfor mance is delivered by adjusting the control parameters through electronic control whether it is spark ignition or compression ignition. In addition, the number of parameters optimized by electronic control has been increasing every year, including fuel injection and valve timing, making the man-hours required for this optimization work (calibration task) larger and more difficult to efficiently calibrate with the conventional methods that depend on engineer exper ience and intuition. As a method to solve this issue, software programs called ECU Calibration Tools began to be introduced since the 1990s. They are widely adopted in vehicle development at present, with the usefulness of these tools becoming recognized not only in vehicle engines but in industrial engines. This article introduces “STARS Calibrate,” an ECU Calibration Tool product jointly developed by HORIBA Group and Ricardo and describes its basic principles and effects.

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