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.

Get Started:

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, 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.

Use 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 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 Add-On Explorer.

Calculate Earth 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 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. 

Small Satellite Simulation

The CubeSat Simulation Library for Aerospace Blockset™ lets you model, simulate, analyze, and visualize the motion and dynamics of small satellites, various spacecraft, and similar objects. Solar system ephemeris data lets you calculate the position and velocity of planets for a given Julian date, describe Earth nutation and Moon libration motions.

CubeSat Simulation Library

The library provides a ready-to-simulate example of a small satellite modeled in Simulink®. It also provides template models directly from the Simulink Start page. To help you get started modeling translational and rotational dynamics, the library includes blocks for calculating orbit propagation at various levels of fidelity and determining vehicle attitude profiles.

Simulate spacecraft translational and rotational dynamics.

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

Orbit Propagator Block

Propagate one or more satellite orbits at varying levels of fidelity

Attitude Profile Block

Compute rotation to reach desired satellite attitude

International Geomagnetic Reference Field Block

Implement the 13th Generation of the International Geomagnetic Reference Field (IGRF-13) in Simulink

World Magnetic Model Block

Implement the World Magnetic Model 2020 in Simulink

CubeSat Simulation Library

Model, simulate, and visualize the motion and dynamics of CubeSats

Flight Control Analysis Tools

Analyze longitudinal and lateral-directional flying qualities of aerospace vehicles

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

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.