Simscape


Key Features

  • Single environment for simulating multidomain physical systems with control algorithms in Simulink®
  • Physical modeling blocks covering more than 10 physical domains, including mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, and two-phase fluid
  • MATLAB® based Simscape™ language, enabling text-based authoring of physical modeling components, domains, and libraries
  • Symbolic equation reduction and solver technology for systems of differential algebraic equations (DAEs), including event handling
  • Specialized solver technology for real-time simulation and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing
  • Physical units for parameters and variables, with all unit conversions handled automatically
  • Ability to simulate models that use blocks from Simscape add-on products without purchasing those products
  • Support for C-code generation (with Simulink Coder™)

Multidomain Schematics

Simscape™ products offer a natural and efficient method for composing the mathematical model of your physical system. By creating a multidomain schematic based on physical connections, the products enable you to vary the system design without deriving and implementing the system-level equations.


Modeling with Physical Connections

Simscape components represent physical elements, such as pumps, motors, and op-amps. Lines in your model that connect these components correspond to physical connections in the real system that transmit power. This approach lets you describe the physical structure of a system rather than the underlying mathematics. Electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, and other physical connections are represented in your multidomain schematic by lines whose color indicates their physical domain. You can see right away which systems are in your model and how they are connected to one another.

Engineers reduced testing costs by tens of thousands of euros, optimized multiple subsystems within the ship, decreased fuel use, and improved energy recapture.

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Simscape Product Family

The Simscape product family consists of six products that cover a wide range of applications. You can combine any set of the Simscape add-on products with the Simscape platform to model multidomain physical systems. The add-on products include more advanced blocks and analysis methods.

The Simscape family of products, shown in the Simulink library browser (left). These products provide hundreds of components (examples upper right), and advanced analysis tools, including 3D animation from Simscape Multibody (lower right).


Building Models

You create Simscape models by assembling components into a schematic. Many component models are provided, and you can customize them or create your own library of blocks. You can also use capabilities in MATLAB and Simulink to automate many model construction tasks.


Foundation Libraries

Simscape provides libraries of components covering more than ten different physical domains. Basic elements are provided in each domain, such as mechanical springs, electrical resistors, hydraulic orifices, pneumatic chambers, and fluid reservoirs. You can combine these elements to model more complex components such as electric motors, hydraulic valves, and other components that span multiple physical domains.

 

Vintecc verified 90% of its control system design before hardware was available, shortened its development schedule by months, and implemented new features within days.

The Simscape Foundation library, pictured in the Simulink library browser (left). It provides hundreds of components in many domains (example blocks, right).


Modeling Editor

The Simulink modeling editor helps you efficiently construct your model. You can navigate through the hundreds of provided components by typing the name of the component. The editor presents you with a list of components specific to the physical domain of your last connection. Other capabilities reduce the amount of clicking and dragging you need to do in order to construct your model.

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Automating Modeling Tasks

You can use the capabilities of MATLAB to automate the construction and parameterization of your model. You can programmatically add blocks, add connections, and delete lines or blocks. You can also use MATLAB functions to locate blocks in the diagram based on any attribute of that block and set parameter values. With these capabilities, you can construct complex models, adjust parameter values, and configure components in seconds.

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Creating Components

The extensive libraries provided by the Simscape products are specifically designed to help you create custom components. You can create components that match the exact design of your system and capture just the right amount of fidelity for the analysis you want to perform.


Reusable Assemblies

You can assemble a set of Simscape components into a schematic and then place that schematic into a subsystem with physical connections. The physical connections enable you to define clear, consistent interfaces for your custom components, which lets you reuse them in other models. You can give users of this component access to key parameters via a dialog box and a direct link to custom documentation integrated in the MATLAB Help browser. The ease of reuse can increase your engineering teams’ efficiency.

FMTC engineers reduced fuel use by 25%, shortened analysis time by 75%, and reduced total cost of ownership by 15%.

Parameterized component (top left) built from Foundation library blocks (bottom). The user can edit key parameters in a dialog box (top right).


Simscape Language

All Simscape components are defined using the Simscape language, which is based on the MATLAB programming language. Using this object-oriented modeling language, you can define your own custom components, complete with parameterization, physical connections, and equations represented as implicit DAEs. Using the Simscape language, you can control exactly which effects are captured in your models. This lets you balance the tradeoff between model fidelity and simulation speed.

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Simulating Models

Simscape simulation technology enables you leverage simulation in a variety of engineering tasks. For example, you can use Simscape models to refine requirements early in the development cycle, optimize your system-level design, and test embedded controllers without hardware prototypes. Simscape increases your efficiency throughout the entire development process.


Equation Reduction and Solver Technology

You can rely on Simscape to automatically formulate the equations for your entire physical system. After parsing your schematic, Simscape uses symbolic manipulation and index reduction to identify the mathematical formulation that most efficiently represents your system. Specialized simulation technology solves the DAEs directly together with the rest of your model.

Toyota created a comprehensive model with thousands of equations, tested the controller under challenging edge cases, and verified control software before in-vehicle testing.

Real-Time Simulation

Simscape uses specialized simulation technology to enable your simulations to run in real time. You can configure both explicit and implicit solvers to limit the amount of computation per time step while maintaining the accuracy you require. You can use different solvers on different portions of the same model to minimize execution time. These capabilities let you use your Simscape model for HIL testing, training simulators, and other situations where simulation execution must be synchronized with a real-time system.


MATLAB Enabled Capabilities

Powerful MATLAB capabilities enable you to efficiently solve challenging problems with your Simscape simulations. Any simulation task can be automated using MATLAB code. Optimization algorithms help you quickly identify an optimal set of parameters or components for your design. Optimizations and parameter sweeps can be accelerated by running your simulations in parallel on multiple cores or a computing cluster.


Analyzing Results

Simscape analysis capabilities enable you to rapidly explore and improve the performance of your design. You can even use these capabilities to ensure your Simscape model has the right amount of detail for your task.


Exploring Simulation Results

Using the Simscape Results Explorer, you can quickly explore the simulation results for your Simscape model, including variable values and the timing of events. You can navigate directly from plots of the results to the model (blocks and individual equations) to investigate the causes of the behavior you see. Using MATLAB code, you can automate any analysis, including time-based, frequency-based, and event-based analyses.

Engineers used simulation to estimate components’ loads, gained crucial insights into system behavior, and accelerated sensitivity studies via parallel computing.

Simscape Results Explorer (right) for exploring all simulation results from your Simscape model (left). You can navigate back and forth between the schematic and the simulation results.


Measuring Model Complexity

To identify computationally intensive portions of your model, you can measure the complexity of your model in quantities such as variables, equations that can trigger events, and constraints. This helps you determine if your changes are likely to improve the performance of the model during simulation. The Simscape Statistics Viewer links directly to the model (blocks and variables) to help you adjust model fidelity.

Simscape Statistics Viewer (right) for measuring the complexity of a Simscape model (left), showing retained and eliminated variables and other statistics. You can navigate directly to the source (block or equation) in the model.


Simulink Enabled Capabilities

Simulink capabilities enable you to solve challenging control design problems using Simscape models. Advanced linearization and automatic control tuning techniques help you apply complex control strategies and rapidly find controller gains that achieve robustness and response time goals. Profiling and advisor tools identify bottlenecks in your simulation and help you improve your model.


Converting to C Code

You can convert Simscape models into C code using Simulink Coder. Converting Simscape models to C code enables them to be used for tasks such as HIL testing and optimization where batch simulations are performed. Converting to C code also enables sharing of protected models.


Testing Without Hardware Prototypes

With Simscape models, you can test embedded control algorithms and controller hardware without using hardware prototypes. In addition to software-in-the-loop (SIL) and processor-in-the-loop (PIL) tests, converting your Simscape models to C code lets you run hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) tests. This enables you to test embedded controllers without endangering equipment and personnel and increases your confidence that the system will behave as specified when you connect the controller to the real system.

Volvo Construction Equipment tested new concepts for construction equipment, reduced the number of prototypes by 30-50%, and resolved field issues faster.

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Running Batch Simulations

Many engineering tasks, such as optimizations and parameter sweeps, require running many sets of simulations. Converting your Simscape model to C code enables the efficient execution of these tasks. You can accelerate individual simulations, and run batches of simulations in parallel over multiple processors or distributed across a computing cluster.


Sharing Models

Simscape helps you make efficient use of your purchased software when sharing models that use Simscape add-on products. It also provides methods of sharing models while protecting your intellectual property.


Accessing Capabilities in Simscape Add-on Products

Using Simscape Editing Mode, Simscape users can perform many tasks on models that use Simscape add-on products, even if they have not purchased the add-on products. Those tasks include viewing, simulating, and changing parameter values in the model. As a result, your team can leverage advanced components and capabilities from the entire Simscape product family without requiring that each engineer purchase a license for each Simscape add-on product.

Working with Simscape Models    
Task Model Developer
(Purchases Simscape and
Simscape add-on products)
Model User
(Purchases Simscape)
Simulate
Log data and plot results
Change numerical parameters
Generate code with Simulink Coder
View Simscape Multibody animations
Access PowerGUI functions and settings
Change block parameterization options  
Make or break physical connections  

Sharing Protected Models

You can share Simscape models with other users while protecting your intellectual property. You can protect custom components defined using the Simscape language as well as subsystems containing Simscape blocks. Sharing these models lets other users run simulations, vary parameters, and convert them to C code, but prevents them from seeing the original implementation.


Simscape in Academia

MATLAB, Simulink, and Simscape are used at many leading universities. Educators can use modeling and simulation with 3D visualization to engage students with realistic examples and make classroom theory come alive. Using simulation, students can prototype in a virtual environment, which encourages them to try out new designs and to explore the entire parameter space. Simulation enables them to optimize their designs in research projects and student competitions. Because these products are also used widely across industries such as automotive, aerospace, and robotics, graduating students who have experience with MATLAB, Simulink, and Simscape are in demand by employers.

Learn more about engaging students with modeling and simulation.

Students acquire engineering communication skills and are motivated with real-world challenges. Graduates are prepared for their careers.