Currently I am developing a control system for an aircraft of a unique design (something in between a helicopter and a dirigible). At this moment I can model only the dynamics of this vehicle without any aerodynamic effects taken into account. For this I use the following work-flow:

Mechanical model in SolidWorks -> MSC ADAMS (Dynamics) <--> MATLAB/Simulink (Control algorithms)

Thus, the dynamics of the vehicle is modeled in ADAMS and all control algorithms are in MATLAB/Simulink. Unfortunately, ADAMS can not simulate any aerodynamic effects. As a result, I can not design a control system that is capable to fight even small wind disturbances.

  • $\begingroup$ Alex, the question is not related to this topic. It has nothing to do with control or robot design. You can rephrase your question to ask about how to design autopilot for a specific plant model. Then, other users could answer and point you in the right direction. As it stands, you are asking for a CFD software but in fact what you need is methodology to define the linear and nonlinear of your vehicle. Which doesn't have to be software to software integration. $\endgroup$ – Gürkan Çetin Oct 21 '15 at 16:59
  • $\begingroup$ Actually, I need a virtual environment where I can launch my aircraft and see how it behaves without fear to crash it, because the real prototype is too fragile for taking any risks. And I need something where I have to define only the geometry of an aircraft, its inertial characteristics and joints whereas all system equations would be generated automatically and linked with control algorithms in MATLAB. $\endgroup$ – Alexey Bokov Oct 22 '15 at 10:08
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    $\begingroup$ then I suggest that you try x-plane. Which helps you define a custom geometry with custom control surfaces and custom propulsion. however, I strongly suggest that you (or someone) takes a close look at your mathematical representation of the aircraft, and that you take extra precautions for the first flight. good luck. $\endgroup$ – Gürkan Çetin Oct 24 '15 at 5:01

Matlab has a package called Simscape that you can use for modeling physical systems in general. I would just caution you up front that Simscape is almost more like a plugin manager in that it enables other modules and doesn't offer a terrific amount of content on its own. This means you get to buy Simscape, then buy whatever other toolboxes you want that require Simscape. That said, if you're using Solidworks, you/your company is probably no stranger to paying good money for (great) software tools.

Once you have Simscape, you can purchase/install a package called SimMechanics. This package has the capability to interface with Solidworks; see the videos here and here (the second video is embedded in this page in case you have trouble accessing it).

Lastly, there's an Aerospace Blockset for Simulink that helps you model wind, but I'm not an aero guy and haven't used this set, so I can't comment on how useful it may be.

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