You can use Simulink® to model a system and then simulate the dynamic behavior of that system. The basic techniques you use to create a simple model in this tutorial are the same as those you use for more complex models. This example simulates simplified motion of a car. A car is typically in motion while the gas pedal is pressed. After the pedal is released, the car idles and comes to a stop.
A Simulink block is a model element that defines a mathematical relationship between its input and output. To create this simple model, you need four Simulink blocks.
|Block Name||Block Purpose||Model Purpose|
|Pulse Generator||Generate an input signal for the model||Represent the accelerator pedal|
|Gain||Multiply the input signal by a constant value||Calculate how pressing the accelerator affects the car acceleration|
|Integrator, Second-Order||Integrate the input signal twice||Obtain position from acceleration|
|Outport||Designate a signal as an output from the model||Designate the position as an output from the model|
Simulating this model integrates a brief pulse twice to get a ramp. The results display in a Scope window. The input pulse represents a press of the gas pedal — 1 when the pedal is pressed and 0 when it is not. The output ramp is the increasing distance from the starting point.
Use the Simulink Editor to build your models.
Start MATLAB®. From the MATLAB toolstrip, click the Simulink button .
Click the Blank Model template.
The Simulink Editor opens.
From the Simulation tab, select Save > Save
as. In the File name text box, enter a
name for your model. For example,
Save. The model is saved with the file extension
Simulink provides a set of block libraries, organized by functionality in the Library Browser. The following libraries are common to most workflows:
Continuous — Blocks for systems with continuous states
Discrete — Blocks for systems with discrete states
Math Operations — Blocks that implement algebraic and logical equations
Sinks — Blocks that store and show the signals that connect to them
Sources — Blocks that generate the signal values that drive the model
From the Simulation tab, click the Library Browser button .
Set the Library Browser to stay on top of the other desktop windows. On the Simulink Library Browser toolbar, select the Stay on top button .
To browse through the block libraries, select a category and then a functional area in the left pane. To search all of the available block libraries, enter a search term.
For example, find the Pulse Generator block. In the search box on
the browser toolbar, enter
pulse, and then press Enter.
Simulink searches the libraries for blocks with
their name or description and then displays the blocks.
Get detailed information about a block. Right-click the Pulse Generator block, and then select Help for the Pulse Generator block. The Help browser opens with the reference page for the block.
Blocks typically have several parameters. You can access all block parameters by double-clicking the block.
To start building the model, browse the library and add the blocks.
Sources library, drag the
Pulse Generator block to the Simulink Editor. A copy of the Pulse Generator block
appears in your model with a text box for the value of the
Amplitude parameter. Enter
Parameter values are held throughout the simulation.
Add the following blocks to your model using the same approach.
Add a second Outport block by copying the existing one and pasting it at another point using keyboard shortcuts.
Your model now has the blocks you need.
Arrange the blocks by clicking and dragging each block. To resize a block, drag a corner.
Connect the blocks by creating lines between output ports and input ports.
Click the output port on the right side of the Pulse Generator block.
The output port and all input ports suitable for a connection are indicated by a blue chevron symbol.
Point to to see the connection cue.
Click the cue. Simulink connects the blocks with a line and an arrow indicating the direction of signal flow.
Connect the output port of the Gain block to the input port on the Integrator, Second-Order block.
Connect the two outputs of the Integrator, Second-Order block to the two Outport blocks.
Save your model. In the Simulation tab, click Save.
To view simulation results, connect the first output to a Signal Viewer.
Click the signal. In the Simulation tab under Prepare, click Add Viewer. Select Scope. A viewer icon appears on the signal and a scope window opens.
You can open the scope at any time by double-clicking the icon.
In the Simulation tab, set the simulation stop time by changing the value in the toolbar.
The default stop time of
10.0 is appropriate for
this model. This time value has no unit. The time unit in Simulink depends on how the equations are constructed. This example
simulates the simplified motion of a car for 10 seconds — other models
could have time units in milliseconds or years.
To run the simulation, click the Run button .
The simulation runs and produces the output in the viewer.
This example takes an existing model,
models a proximity sensor based on this motion model. In this scenario, a digital
sensor measures the distance between the car and an obstacle 10 m (30 ft) away. The
model outputs the sensor measurement and the position of the car, taking these
conditions into consideration:
The car comes to a hard stop when it reaches the obstacle.
In the physical world, a sensor measures the distance imprecisely, causing random numerical errors.
A digital sensor operates at fixed time intervals.
To start, open the
moving_car model. At the MATLAB command line, enter:
You first need to model the hard stop when the car position reaches
10 . The Integrator, Second-Order block has a parameter for that purpose.
Double-click the Integrator, Second-Order block. The Block Parameters dialog box appears.
Select Limit x and enter
10 for Upper limit x. The background color for the parameter changes to indicate a modification that is not applied to the model. Click OK to apply the changes and close the dialog box.
Add a sensor that measures the distance from the obstacle.
Modify the model. Expand the model window to accommodate the new blocks as necessary.
Find the actual distance. To find the distance between
the obstacle position and the vehicle position, add the
Subtract block from the
Math Operations library.
Also add the Constant block from the
Sources library to set
the constant value of
10 for the
position of the obstacle.
Model the imperfect measurement that would be typical
to a real sensor. Generate noise by using the
Band-Limited White Noise block from
Sources library. Set
the Noise power parameter to
0.001. Add the noise to the
measurement by using an Add block from
Model a digital sensor that fires every 0.1 seconds.
In Simulink, sampling of a signal at a given interval
requires a sample and hold. Add the Zero-Order
Hold block from the
Discrete library. After
you add the block to the model, change the
Sample Time parameter to
Add another Outport to connect to the sensor output. Keep the default value of the Port number parameter.
Connect the new blocks. The output of the Integrator, Second-Order block is already connected to another port. To create a branch in that signal, left-click the signal to highlight potential ports for connection, and click the appropriate port.
Add signal names to the model.
Double-click the signal and type the signal name.
To finish, click away from the text box.
Repeat these steps to add the names as shown.
actual distance signal with the
measured distance signal.
Create and connect a Scope Viewer to the
actual distance signal. Right-click the signal
and select Create & Connect Viewer > Simulink >
Scope. The name of the signal appears in the viewer
measured distance signal to the same
viewer. Right-click the signal and select Connect to Viewer
> Scope1. Make sure that you are connecting to the
viewer you created in the previous step.
Run the model. The Viewer shows the two signals,
distance in yellow and
distance in blue.
Zoom into the graph to observe the effect of noise and sampling. Click the Zoom button . Left-click and drag a window around the region you want to see more closely.
You can repeatedly zoom in to observe the details.
From the plot, note that the measurement can deviate from the actual value by as much as 0.3 m. This information becomes useful when designing a safety feature, for example, a collision warning.