Signal Processor Hierarchy
69. Diagram 13 shows the Signal Processor Hierarchy that is used to implement the digital regulation and control structures in a vehicle that is driven by an Heat Engine. In the context of this patent application, the difference between a computer and a Signal Processor is that a Signal Processor will process signals that originate from any electrical measuring device and also send values and instructions to such devices, if they are able to receive them, but a straight forward computer will only accept manipulate and present digitally formatted data that originated at a keyboard or was generated by another computer. A Signal Processor can, when required also execute the functions of a normal computer, but it's main purpose is to provide electronic control and regulation of electrical and none electrical values and actions. The electrical measurement and control of electrical -and none electrical values is the main extension made to the CPU of a computer in order to convert it to a Signal Processor. The keyboard and visual monitor are irrelevant in this definition of a Signal Processor.
70. The Heat Engine and associated components are controlled and operated by electronic signals in coordination with human input. For sequences that are within the reaction time of humans, human intervention will over ride electronic digital control and for sequences that are faster than the reaction time of humans, electronic digital control will be activated, before human control.
71. In Diagram 13:
A. For Heat Engine control in electric vehicles, a Main Signal Processor is connected to the other processing electronics through an integral Data Link Controller.
B. The Main Signal Processor has 3 direct connections with hardware. They are:
Timer - The Timer output is the control signal to one or more timer relays that are usually connected in series. That signal must be updated in regular intervals by the Main Signal Processor and integrated Data Link Controller, otherwise power will be removed from drive motors in an electric vehicle. The Timer signal is updated by the main CPU and it's Data Link Controller interface in order to make sure that both units are working correctly and thereby preserve the fail safe capability of the digitally regulated system.
Gen. Freq. - The Gen. Freq. input signal is the frequency of the generator that is driven by the turbine of the Heat Engine. It is measured by frequency counters that are in both the main CPU and the Data Link Controller circuits in order to make sure that the value is correct.
Motor Freq. - The Motor Freq. input signal is the frequency of the electric motors that are being used to drive a vehicle. It is measured in the same way as the generator frequency for the same reasons. The number of Motor Freq. inputs will increase according to the number of motors used.
- The Gen. Freq. and Motor Freq. signals are also measured by their local Component Controllers and passed to the Main Signal Processor over the serial connections, but the measurement is made again directly at the Main Signal Processor and it's Data Link Controller in order to ensure that all components are working with exactly the same values.
C. The Board Computer of a vehicle or building in which an Heat Engine is used, can be any computer, but it should also be connected to the Main Signal Processor through the Data Link Controller wiring so that it's data is also an integral part of the fail safe strategy.
72. The communication between the Main Signal Processor, Heat Engine and Electric Drive as described in this text are executed over serial lines, whereby each Data Link Controller and Component Controller that is connected to the Main Signal Processor, has it's own physical connection wire. This provides fail safe protection whereby the Data Link Controller and or the Main Signal Processor can very quickly isolate faults on anyone of those connection lines and decide what is to be done before, such errors reach dangerous levels. If for example, time division multiplexing on a single wire is used, there would be no way to define where an error has originated and in certain circumstances, the fail safe capability would be lost.
73. The serial communication system uses a basic 32 bit data format:
- Reading from left to right, the first 8 significant bits are used to identify the destination of an instruction that has been placed on the line. Error checking bits are not considered here to be part of the instruction.
- The second group of 8 bits are used to identify the instruction that is to be performed by the receiver. The instruction set is extended by sending an instruction to a receiver that asks that receiver to wait for and receive more data, before making the required decisions.
- The analog and digital values are represented in the last 16 bits of the instruction.
- That means that a maximum of 256 instructions can be sent between 255 components within the same system, whereby each receiver will only know their own send and receive instruction set so that Component Controllers will not receive data from incorrect sources or send data to incorrect destinations, even if an internal error occurs.
- Component Controllers as described further down in this text, synchronize the parameter changes that they receive from the Main Signal Processor and the Man machine Interface (see description below) with the transfer characteristics of the individual components that they control.
74. The Main Signal Processor is the main overriding point of comparison in the regulating loops of the Heat Engine and is the place where measurements are analyzed and parameter changes calculated. The calculations occur in semi- real time, which means that errors can be detected and appropriate alternative action taken. That allows digital regulators to be made fail safe. As a comparison, analog regulation circuits operate in real time, but error detection can not be implemented.
The communication between a vehicle's board computer and main controler