Knocking Sensor and Prevention for Internal Combustion Engine


Executive Summary


Effects of knocking in spark-ignition internal combustion engines range from inconsequential such as an annoying noise to completely destructive such as blasting holes through cylinder heads or pistons.  With the rise in turbo charged engines, high efficiency engines, and high performance engines in everything from lawnmowers to automobiles, knock detection and prevention has become absolutely critical. Researchers at Michigan State University have created a novel sensor for knock detection that does not add to the complexity of the engine and that is more effective, accurate and cost-efficient than currently used technology.


Description of Technology


The new MSU knocking sensor technology uses a simple and cost-effective sensor design for in-cylinder measurements and feedback prevention which allows the engine to adjust firing time and other measures to prevent knocking.  Knock detection with this new sensor is more accurate than existing technology, has less problems with interference, and reduces the amount of false positives.  The technology does not require additional parts to be added to the engine, just an inexpensive upgrade of existing equipment.


Key Benefits

  • Simplified and more accurate knock detection
  • Less detection interference
  • Existing equipment can be upgraded at low cost



  • Automotive Engines
  • Recreational Vehicle engines (snow mobiles, boats, dune buggy, etc.)
  • Gas Lawn Mowers


Patent Status: 


US patent application published no. US6883509 B2. WIPO patent no. WO2017030889


Licensing Rights Available


Rights for specific fields available.


Inventors: Guoming George Zhu, Kevin D. Moran


Tech ID: TEC2015-0105


Patent Information:

For Information, Contact:

Brian Copple
Technology Manager
Michigan State University