Development of future sensors for advanced automotive applications

Sensata and melexis intend to develop sensors to regulate hard to control combustion processes, contributing to both the development of highly efficient auto-ignition combustion processes (advanced diesel combustion) and advanced after-treatment sensors for an integrated exhaust system.

In the automotive industry, sensors are becoming an increasingly important field of technology. The growing need to reduce NOX (Nitrogen Oxide), HCs (Hydrocarbons), CO2 and particulate emissions, improve fuel economy and enhance safety and comfort has driven the market for automotive sensors in electronic systems. Drive-by-wire, electro-hydraulic brakes and high-pressure fuel injection systems and different kinds of airbags are features of automotive innovations from the last decade that are facilitated by sensors. Moreover, sensors are extensively introduced to control car emissions in applications like high-pressure fuel injection, diesel particle traps, boost pressure sensing and emission control. Market needs as well as governmental policies demand continuous efforts in research and development to improve existing technologies and to develop new technological and sustainable solutions. For this project, environmental policies for diesel truck engines (primary) and diesel car engines (secondary) are important driving forces. For example, the U.S., European and Japanese governments have obliged truck manufacturers to adopt a standard for monitoring the after-treatment system. The standard is called On Board Diagnostics (OBD). OBD aims to: - monitor every component that could cause emissions to increase; - monitor itself; - store faults and conditions at time of fault; - communicate the status of the OBD and emission system to a service technician. OBD obliges truck manufacturers to install at least one NOX-sensor per truck engine. That sensor monitors the tailpipe NOX-emissions. Besides measuring tailpipe emissions, an additional NOX-sensor might also be needed to monitor the NOX-emissions before entering the after-treatment system. Furthermore, the OBD aims can be assessed by sensed signals from the combustion process, from the exhaust gas recirculation and from the particle filter. The FUSE project focuses on the development of technologically challenging and critical components (e.g. the sensor package and control units) for next generation diesel engines, more specific to supporting the development of the innovative auto-ignition combustion process. The requirements related to this R&D work refer to Advanced Combustion within the HTAS Innovation Programme, creating clean and efficient power trains and contributing to the HTAS objectives of low emissions and fuel consumption reduction. SENSATA TECHNOLOGIES is one of the leading companies in the worldwide automotive pressure sensor market. SENSATA has produced several innovations in this field, e.g. common rail pressure sensors for diesel engines based on so-called PSG and MSG technologies. One of the latest sensors in this field is the Cylinder Pressure Sensor that was granted a Dutch Innovation Subsidy in 2004 (IS041001, 'CYPRESS'). SENSATA's sensors can be found in millions of cars and trucks from leading manufacturers like VW/Audi, Daimler Chrysler, Ford, PSA, General Motors. MELEXIS is a Belgian company, specialised in the development of advanced Mixed Signal semiconductors, sensor ICs (Integrated Control System), and programmable sensor IC systems for various customers in the automotive electronics market. The sensor package to be developed applies to heavy duty (truck) diesel engines, but also has a technical and commercial spin-off for diesel engines in cars. This next generation sensor package consists of 4 inter-dependent sensors, namely: 1) HCM sensor, to measure differential pressure in exhaust gas recirculation flow; 2) NOx sensor, to measure NO and NO2 concentration in the exhaust gases; 3) Soot sensor, to measure quantity (weight) of particulate matter in exhaust gas; 4) CPOS sensor, to measure combustion pressure in large diesel engines. This R&D project is the logical next step of the R&D-performance of the project partners in the past. Their track record in automotive innovations includes several breakthrough technologies applied in a range of sensor products such as cylinder pressure sensors, brake sensors, etc. implemented by various automotive OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers).
Project ID: 
4 196
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
2 350 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Sensor Technology related to measurements
Market Area: 
Motor Vehicles, Transportation Equipment and Parts

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.