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Infrared Microsystem for Polluting Emission Control on Cars 2 (IMPECC2)


Current automotive injection systems for petrol engines are regulated via an oxygen specific probe located between the engine and the catalytic converter. Another probe after the converter monitors its efficiency. This type of probe does not determine hazardous gases and soot particles in the exhaust. It is the aim of IMPECC to develop a sensor capable of determining hydrocarbons (HCs), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulate matter in the exhaust line.

A previous FP5 project IMPECC1 has shown that the determination of these gases is feasible with a spectroscopic narrow band absorption method. The short response time of spectroscopic methods will make it possible to control emissions during transient engine regimes.

The tests rig carried out in IMPECC1 included a bulky and expensive off-the-shelf IR detector, which needs low temperature cooling. In IMPECC2 this detector will be replaced with a micro-cavity IR bolometer detector similar to those used in infrared portable night vision cameras.

These bolometers are cheap, lightweight, and small volume. Their sensitivity band spans from 8 to 14 micrometers for their current application as 300K black body detectors.

However, the absorption bands of HCs and CO range from 2 to 6 micrometers and require higher sensitivities. Re-engineering of existing bolometers is therefore necessary for this new application. Many components of the IMPECC1 experiment will be re-used. Some will be re-adjusted to the requirements of the new detector. An essential task in the project is the development of the new bolometer by CEA (F) in conjunction with the co-ordinator Delphi (L), a major vehicle equipment manufacturer worldwide. The optic system will be evolved from IMPECC1 by CSEM (CH). Swatch Group will produce the integrated circuits. Renault will carry out tests on real engine gases. The outcome of this 24-month project will be an operational prototype together with an industrialisation plan.

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