Aerospace Blockset

Model, simulate, and analyze aerospace vehicle dynamics

Aerospace Blockset™ provides Simulink® reference examples and blocks for modeling, simulating, and analyzing high-fidelity aircraft and spacecraft platforms. It includes vehicle dynamics, validated models of the flight environment, and blocks for pilot behavior, actuator dynamics, and propulsion. Built-in aerospace math operations and coordinate system and spatial transformations let you represent aircraft and spacecraft motion and orientation. To examine simulation results, you can connect 2D and 3D visualization blocks to your model.

Aerospace Blockset provides standard model architectures for building reusable vehicle platform models. These platform models can support flight and mission analysis; conceptual studies; detailed mission design; guidance, navigation, and control (GNC) algorithm development; software integration testing; and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing for applications in autonomous flight, radar, and communications.

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    Atmospheric Flight Vehicle Modeling

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

Point Mass, 3DoF, and 6DoF Equations of Motion

Using the equations of motion blocks, model and simulate point mass and three- and six-degrees-of-freedom dynamics of fixed or variable mass atmospheric flight vehicles. Define representations of the equations of motion in body, wind, and Earth-centered, Earth-fixed (ECEF) coordinate systems. Transform between coordinate systems and perform unit conversions to ensure model consistency.

Body-fixed coordinate system for aerospace vehicles.

Data Compendium Derivatives

Import digital Data Compendium (DATCOM) aerodynamic coefficients into MATLAB® to model fixed-wing vehicle geometries. Then, simulate the aerodynamic forces and moments of the vehicle in Simulink®.

Example using DATCOM aerodynamic coefficients.

Reference Application

Explore a ready-to-simulate example to see how Aerospace Blockset is used to model aircraft dynamics.

Example modeling dynamics for a hybrid aircraft.

Spacecraft Simulation

Model, simulate, analyze, and visualize the motion and dynamics of small satellites with CubeSat Vehicle and Spacecraft Dynamics library blocks. Using solar system ephemeris data, calculate the position and velocity of celestial objects for a given Julian date and describe Earth nutation and Moon libration.

CubeSat and Spacecraft Dynamics

Model motion and dynamics of satellites and constellations. Propagate orbits at varying levels of fidelity and calculate required rotations for vehicle attitude maneuvers. Visualize trajectories and perform high-level mission planning with the satelliteScenario object from the Aerospace Toolbox.

Visualization of satellite constellation modeled with the Orbit Propagator block.

Planetary Ephemerides

With Chebyshev coefficients obtained from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), use Simulink to describe the position and velocity of solar system bodies relative to a specified center object for a given Julian date. You can also improve the accuracy of your model by incorporating Earth nutation and Moon libration.

Blocks to describe attributes of solar system bodies.

Reference Applications

Get started with ready-to-simulate spacecraft examples.

A ready-to-simulate example that provides high level mission-planning for satellite orbits.

GNC and Flight Analysis

Use templates and functions to perform advanced analysis on the dynamic response of aerospace vehicles and use GNC blocks to control and coordinate their flight.

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 GNC model for a palm-sized drone.

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 based on the MIL-F-8785C and MIL-STD-1797A standards.

Using built-in templates to start your analysis.

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.

De Havilland Beaver example using the COESA atmospheric model.

Gravity and Magnetic Fields

Calculate gravity and magnetic fields using standard models. Blocks in the Environment library let you implement the Earth Geopotential Models, World Magnetic Models, and the International Geomagnetic Reference Field, including EGM2008, WMM2020, and IGRF13. You can also calculate height and undulations based on geoid data downloadable via the Add-On Explorer.

Calculate Earth’s magnetic field and secular variation with the IGRF-13 magnetic field model.


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 landing with simulated wind shear, gusts, and turbulence. 

Flight Visualization

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

Flight Instruments

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

Viewing flight data using flight instrument blocks.    

Flight Simulator Interface

Visualize aerospace vehicle dynamics in a 3D environment using the flight simulator interface for FlightGear. Get started by running an example using NASA’s HL-20 lifting body re-entry vehicle.

Visualization example of an HL-20 simulation in FlightGear.

Vehicle Components

Model vehicle components, such as linear and nonlinear actuators, human pilot behavior, and engine systems.


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

Model a nonlinear actuator without deriving its dynamics.

Pilot Models

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

Block representing the transfer function for the Tustin pilot model.

Engine Systems

The Turbofan Engine System block computes the thrust and fuel mass flow rate of a controlled turbofan engine system at a specific throttle position, Mach number, and altitude.

Turbofan Engine System block that includes both the engine and controller.

Korean Air Speeds UAV Flight Control Software Development and Verification with Model-Based Design

Korean Air designed and simulated flight control laws and operational logic, generated and verified production code, and conducted HIL tests.