Skip to Main Content
This paper describes an interactive modeling, simulation, animation, and real-time control (MoSART) environment that is useful for controls education and research. The described MoSART environment is shown to be useful for analyzing, designing, visualizing, and evaluating control systems for a broad class of six degree-of-freedom (6-DOF) dynamical systems which include: various fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, unmanned air vehicles (tilt-wing rotorcraft), missiles, submarines, and satellites. The environment - referred to as Control3D-Lab - is based on Microsoft Windows, Visual C++, Direct-3D, and MATLAB/Simulink. The environment can be used as a stand-alone application or together with MATLAB, Simulink, and toolboxes. In either case, the interface permits users to access the following (via pull-down menus): animation models, mesh properties, texture and lighting models, system-specific visual indicators, graphics to be displayed, animation/data display/storage rates, simulation control buttons, and extensive documentation. When Simulink is present, users can exploit extensive visualization and 3D animation features through provided and/or user-generated Simulink diagrams. This capability makes the developed environment very extensible with respect to mathematical models and control laws. The environment also contains a suite of well documented (easy-to-modify) models and control laws that are implemented within the provided Simulink block diagrams. Provided (special) blocks enable animation, joystick inputs, and (near) real-time simulation and animation (when possible). Associated with each block diagram are system-specific, menu-accessed m-files that permit detailed analysis and design. The developed environment is shown to be a valuable tool for enhancing both controls education in a variety of classes as well as research.