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A computer-controlled engine test cell was developed for conducting complex transient experiments with automotive engines. The test cell uses a minicomputer with a 16 000-word 16-b core memory to perform data acquisition and closed-loop control of the engine and dynamometer. A table-driven real-time control program is used to duplicate the effects of vehicle, transmission, and road on engine operation. Reference data and acquired data are exchanged over a high-speed communications channel between the minicomputer and a centralized data acquisition computer (DAC) system. Data can be plotted against time or cross-plotted against other parameters on a graphic cathode-ray-tube display peripheral to the minicomputer. The user can interact with the system to change parameters during the running of an experiment.