Aerospace Blockset



Aerospace Blockset

Model, simulate, and analyze aerospace vehicle dynamics


Aerospace Blockset™ provides Simulink® blocks for modeling, simulating, and analyzing aerospace vehicles. You can incorporate vehicle dynamics, validated models of the flight environment, and pilot behavior, and then connect your model to the FlightGear Flight Simulator to visualize simulation results.

With Aerospace Blockset you can use aerodynamic coefficients or Data Compendium (Datcom) derivatives to model fixed-wing, rotary-wing, and multirotor vehicles. Prebuilt component libraries let you design GNC algorithms and model actuator dynamics and the propulsion subsystem. Built-in aerospace math operations and coordinate system and spatial transformations let you describe the behavior of three-degrees-of-freedom (3DOF) and six-degrees-of-freedom (6DOF) bodies.

The blockset includes validated environment models for atmosphere, gravity, wind, geoid height, and magnetic field to represent flight conditions and increase simulation fidelity. Flight control analysis tools let you analyze the dynamic response and flying qualities of aerospace vehicles​. To complete your analysis, you can visualize the vehicle in flight directly from Simulink with standard cockpit instruments and using the prebuilt FlightGear Flight Simulator interface.

Aerospace Vehicle Modeling

Use blocks to model dynamics of aerospace vehicles, perform simulations, and understand system behavior under various flight and
environment conditions.

Point Mass Equations of Motion

Use fourth- and sixth-order point mass blocks to model applied forces and translational or coordinated motion for a single or multiple point masses. Open an example using multiple aircraft with collaborative control to see how these blocks can be used.

Example of multiple aircraft with collaborative control.

3DoF, 6DoF Equations of Motion

Simulate three- and six-degrees-of-freedom equations of motion with fixed and variable mass using the equations of motion blocks. Define representations of the equations of motion in body, wind, and Earth-centered, Earth-fixed (ECEF) coordinate systems.

Aerospace coordinate systems.

Data Compendium Derivatives

Import digital Data Compendium (Datcom) derivatives to MATLAB® and simulate the aerodynamic forces and moments of a vehicle in Simulink®. Open the example modeling a Swineworks D-200 Sky Hogg lightweight airplane to see how this block is used.

Example using Datcom aerodynamic coefficients.

GNC and Flight Analysis

Use templates and functions to perform advanced analysis on the dynamic response of aerospace vehicles and guidance, navigation, and control (GNC) blocks to control and coordinate their flight. 

Flight Control Analysis

Use Aerospace Blockset and Simulink Control Design™ to perform advanced analysis on the dynamic response of aerospace vehicles. Use templates to get started and functions to compute and analyze flying qualities of airframes modeled in Simulink.

Using built-in templates to start your analysis.   

Guidance, Navigation, and Control

Use guidance blocks to calculate distance between two vehicles; navigation blocks to model accelerometers, gyroscopes, and inertial measurement units (IMUs); and controller blocks to control the movement of aerospace vehicles.

Example of GNC for a palm-sized drone.        

Environment Models

Use validated environment models to represent standard atmospheric, gravity, and magnetic field profiles and implement standard wind conditions.


Use blocks implementing mathematical representations of atmospheric standards, such as the International Standard Atmosphere (ISA) and the 1976 Committee on Extension to the Standard Atmosphere (COESA) atmospheric model.

Example using the COESA atmospheric model.    

Gravity and Magnetic Field

Calculate gravity and magnetic fields using standards such as the 1984 World Geodetic System, 1996 Earth Geopotential Model (EGM96), or World Magnetic Models (WMM), and download ephemeris data to calculate geoid height and undulations.

Including gravity and magnetic field models.  


Add the effects of wind in flight simulations by including mathematical representations from the MIL-F-8785C and MIL-HDBK-1797 standards and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Horizontal Wind Models (HWM).

HL-20 landings with wind shear, gusts, and turbulence.    

Flight Visualization

Visualize vehicle flight dynamics using standard cockpit flight instruments and connecting your simulation to the FlightGear flight simulator.

Flight Instruments

Use flight instrument blocks to display navigation variables. The blocks available in the Flight Instruments library include airspeed, climb rate, and exhaust gas temperature indicators, altimeter, artificial horizon, turn coordinator, and more.

View flight data using flight instrument blocks.    

Flight Simulator Interface

Use blocks that let you interface to the FlightGear flight simulator and visualize aerospace vehicle dynamics in a 3D environment. Get started by running an example using NASA’s HL-20 lifting body re-entry vehicle.

Visualization example of an HL-20 simulation.    

Vehicle Components

Use blocks to model vehicle components, such as linear and nonlinear actuators, human pilot behavior, and the engine systems.


Represent linear actuators and nonlinear actuators based on their natural frequency, damping ratio, and saturation, rate, and deflection limits.

Modeling fin dynamics as a nonlinear actuator.    

Pilot Models

Include the pilot response in dynamic models by using transfer functions to represent their reaction time. The Pilot Models library includes three blocks that implement the Tustin, precision, and crossover models.

Transfer function for the Tustin pilot model.    

Engine Systems

The turbofan engine system block computes the thrust and weight of fuel flow of a turbofan engine and controller at a specific throttle position, Mach number, and altitude.

Block including both engine and controller. 

Planetary Ephemerides

Use solar system ephemeris data to calculate position and velocity of planets for a given Julian date, and to describe Earth nutation and Moon libration motions.

Celestial Phenomena Block Library

With Chebyshev coefficients obtained from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), you can use Simulink to describe the position and velocity of solar system bodies relative to a specified center object for a given Julian date, as well as Earth nutation and Moon libration.

Blocks using coefficients provided by NASA's JPL.    

Latest Features

Flight Control Analysis Tools

Analyze the dynamic response and flying qualities of aerospace vehicles

Earth Orientation Parameters

Calculate polar motion, adjustment to displacement of celestial intermediate pole, and difference between UT1 and UTC

Supersonic Airspeed Correction

Convert between equivalent airspeed, calibrated, or true airspeed

Equation of Motion State Names

Simplify linearization process by specifying aerospace-specific rigid body state names

FlightGear Interface

Includes support for Version 2018.1 through flight simulator blocks

See the release notes for details on any of these features and corresponding functions.

Korean Air

“The model reuse and efficiency improvements enabled by MATLAB and Simulink save time and lower costs. We estimate a time savings of more than 50% is achievable with Model-Based Design compared with hand-coding, and the advantages of Model-Based Design increase with the complexity of the project.”

Jugho Moon, Korean Air

Have Questions?

Contact Greg Drayer Andrade, Aerospace Blockset Technical Expert

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