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  • Getting Started Using ADAMS/Controls

    About this Guide 3

    Learning the Basics 5

    Introducing and Starting the Tutorials 11

    Learning ADAMS/Controls with MATLAB 29

    Learning ADAMS/Controls with Control System Import 45

    Learning ADAMS/Controls with EASY5 57

    Learning ADAMS/Controls with MATRIXx 77

    Setting Simulation Parameters 101

    Advanced Topics 107

  • 2 Getting Started Using ADAMS/ControlsCopyright

    U.S. Government Restricted Rights: If the Software and Documentation are provided in connection with a

    government contract, then they are provided with RESTRICTED RIGHTS. Use, duplication or disclosure is

    subject to restrictions stated in paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of the Rights in Technical Data and Computer Software

    clause at 252.227-7013. Mechanical Dynamics, Incorporated, 2300 Traverwood Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan


    The information in this document is furnished for informational use only, may be revised from time to time, and

    should not be construed as a commitment by Mechanical Dynamics, Incorporated. Mechanical Dynamics,

    Incorporated, assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or inaccuracies that may appear in this


    This document contains proprietary and copyrighted information. Mechanical Dynamics, Incorporated permits

    licensees of ADAMS software products to print out or copy this document or portions thereof solely for

    internal use in connection with the licensed software. No part of this document may be copied for any other

    purpose or distributed or translated into any other language without the prior written permission of Mechanical

    Dynamics, Incorporated.

    2002 by Mechanical Dynamics, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.

    ADAMS is a registered United States trademark of Mechanical Dynamics, Incorporated.

    All other product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

    Part number: 120CTGS-01

  • Getting Started Using ADAMS/Controls

    About this Guide3

    About this Guide

    Welcome to ADAMS/ControlsADAMS/Controls is a plug-in to MDIs ADAMS/Car, ADAMS/Chassis, ADAMS/Rail, ADAMS/View, or ADAMS/Solver that helps you add sophisticated controls to your ADAMS model. ADAMS/Controls lets you connect your ADAMS model to block

    diagrams that youve developed with control applications such as EASY5, MATLAB,

    or MATRIXX.

    ADAMS/Controls offers you the option of:

    Simulating the combined mechanical system and controller entirely within the controls application,

    Simulating entirely within ADAMS, or

    Solving the controls equations with the control package and solving the mechanical system equations with ADAMS.

    ADAMS/Controls also lets you interactively view the simulation results in ADAMS/Car, ADAMS/Chassis, ADAMS/Rail, and ADAMS/View.

    What You Need to KnowThis guide assumes that you know how to run ADAMS/View or ADAMS/Solver. It also assumes that you have a moderate level of proficiency with one of the controls packages with which ADAMS has an interface. These include: EASY5, MATLAB, or MATRIXX. To use ADAMS/Controls, you need access to one of these controls packages so that you can prepare a controls block diagram, add it to your mechanical model, and simulate the combined system.

    For information on other MDI products, see the online Road Map to ADAMS Documentation.

  • Getting Started Using ADAMS/Controls

    About this Guide4

  • 1

    Learning the Basics

    OverviewADAMS/Controls helps you connect your ADAMS mechanical system models to block diagrams developed with EASY5, MATLAB, or MATRIXX. This chapter introduces you to ADAMS/Controls and the basics of its interface features. It contains the following sections:

    How You Benefit from Using ADAMS/Controls, 6

    How to Improve the Design Process with ADAMS/Controls, 6

    Ways in Which You Can Use ADAMS/Controls, 8

    About the ADAMS/Controls Four-Step Process, 9

    How to Learn ADAMS/Controls, 10

  • Getting Started Using ADAMS/Controls

    Learning the Basics6

    How You Benefit from Using ADAMS/ControlsBy combining mechanical system simulation tools and controls design tools, you can:

    Add sophisticated controls to an ADAMS model and simulate the combined system.

    Generate mechanical system simulation models directly from your ADAMS data without having to write equations.

    Analyze the results of your simulation in the ADAMS environment or the controls application environment.

    How to Improve the Design Process with ADAMS/ControlsIn the typical design process of a mechanical system with controls, the mechanical designer and the controls designer work from the same concept, but use different sets of software tools. The result is that each designer produces a model for the same problem.

    Each design is then subject to verification and testing, and the first time the two designs are brought together is during physical prototype testing. If a problem occurs during the interaction between the controls design and the mechanical design, the engineers must refine the control design, the mechanical design, or both, and then go through the entire verification process again as shown in Figure 1 on page 7.

  • Getting Started Using ADAMS/Controls

    Learning the Basics7

    Figure 1. Design Process Before ADAMS/Controls

    With ADAMS/Controls, the two designers can share the same mechanical model. They can also verify from one database the combined effects of a control system on a nonlinear, non-rigid model. The physical testing process is greatly simplified, and the risk of having a control law that is developed for the wrong mechanical model is eliminated as you can see in Figure 2 on page 8.

  • Getting Started Using ADAMS/Controls

    Learning the Basics8

    Figure 2. Improved Design Process with ADAMS/Controls

    Ways in Which You Can Use ADAMS/ControlsYou can use ADAMS/Controls in the ways listed below. The simulation method you choose, interactive or batch, determines which application you use.

    ADAMS/Car, ADAMS/Chassis, ADAMS/Rail and ADAMS/View - By using ADAMS/Controls with one of these products, you can animate your model and view the effects of the control system and any structural modifications you make. This is the application you use if you are running an interactive simulation.

    ADAMS/Solver - For faster simulation results, you can run ADAMS/Controls directly with ADAMS/Solver, MDIs powerful analysis engine. This is the application you use if you are running a simulation in batch mode.

  • Getting Started Using ADAMS/Controls

    Learning the Basics9

    Note: You also have the option with ADAMS/Controls to export either a linear or nonlinear version of your ADAMS plant to the controls application, or to import the controls system definition into ADAMS. Importing the control system

    requires Mathworks Real-Time Workshop.

    About the ADAMS/Controls Four-Step ProcessThe diagram in Figure 3 describes the four-step process of combining controls with a mechanical system. The tutorials in this guide walk you through the detailed procedures for each step.

    Figure 3. ADAMS/Controls Four-Step Process

    Step One: Build the Model - The first step in working with ADAMS/Controls is to build or import an ADAMS model. The model should be complete and include all necessary geometry, constraints, forces, and measures.

    Step Two: Identify the ADAMS Inputs and Outputs - Define the inputs and outputs through the information or startup file in your ADAMS product. The outputs describe the variables that go to the controls application (the output from the ADAMS model is the input to the controls system). The inputs describe the variables that come back into ADAMS (the output of the controls application) and, therefore, complete a closed loop between ADAMS and the controls application. All inputs and outputs must be set up as variables. Optionally, export the plant system files from ADAMS for use in the controls simulation software.

    Step One:Build the ADAMS model.

    Step Two:Identify the

    ADAMS inputs and outputs and export

    the plant model.

    Step Three:

    Build the control system block


    Step Four:

    Simulate the model.

  • Getting Started Using ADAMS/Controls

    Learning the Basics10

    Step Three: Build the Block Diagram - Build the control system block diagram with one of the following applications: EASY5, MATLAB, or MATRIXX. Include the ADAMS plant in your block diagram, or if using Real-Time Workshop, export the controls system and import into ADAMS.

    Step Four: Simulate the Model - Simulate the combined mechanical model and control system. Several different methods are available to run your simulation.

    How to Learn ADAMS/ControlsThis guide introduces you to the most basic concepts of Using ADAMS/Controls through a series of tutorials. You begin learning ADAMS/Controls with Chapter 2, Introducing and Starting the Tutorials. This material explains the basics of the ADAMS side of the ADAMS/Controls interface. After you complete Chapter 2, you continue with the tutorial that is associated with the specific controls application you are using, including EASY5, Control System Import, MATLAB, or MATRIXX.

    ADAMS/Car, Chassis, Rail, or View

    or ADAMS/Solver

    ADAMS Input ADAMS Output

    Controls InputControls

    ApplicationControls Output

  • 2

    Introducing and Starting the Tutorials

    OverviewThis chapter starts you off on the process of adding controls to your ADAMS model. Following this chapter are four different tutorials, one for each of the controls applications you can use with ADAMS/Controls: EASY5, Control System Import, MATLAB, or MATRIXX. After you finish this chapter, continue with the tutorial that is specific to the controls application you are using.

    This chapter contains the following sections:

    About the Tutorial, 12

    How Youll Learn ADAMS/Controls, 12

    Starting ADAMS/View, 13

    Step One - Importing the ADAMS Model, 14

    Step Two - Creating the ADAMS Plant Inputs and Outputs, 18

    Note: Before doing these tutorials, you should be familiar with the basic features of the ADAMS/View interface. See the guide, Learning ADAMS/View Basics, for information about the ADAMS/View interface.

    This tutorial takes about two hours to complete.

  • Getting Started Using ADAMS/Controls

    Introducing and Starting the Tutorials12

    About the TutorialThe tutorials in this guide give you an overview of the four-step process of adding controls to an ADAMS model. This chapter covers Steps One and Two of the process in depth. Youll learn how to:

    Import an ADAMS model and run a trial simulation with ADAMS/View.

    Use the ADAMS/Controls interface features to identify forces, motions, and sensors on your mechanical model.

    Steps Three and Four are covered in the chapters that follow for each controls application.

    How Youll Learn ADAMS/ControlsBy following the tutorials in this guide, youll apply the four-step process of using ADAMS/Controls on a simple antenna-pointing problem. The objective of the problem is to add a control system to the antenna that will move the antenna along a defined path to track a satellite signal.

    For this tutorial, you will supply the torque that pivots the antenna in the azimuthal (horizontal) direction. The torque level will be computed by a control system, based on the error between the actual antenna position and the desired antenna position. This is more realistic than attaching an ADAMS motion to the pivot and driving the motion directly. By applying a torque, you can look at issues related to motor size in an actual mechanical system.

  • Getting Started Using ADAMS/Controls

    Introducing and Starting the Tutorials13

    Starting ADAMS/ViewIn this section, you learn how to create a new directory and start ADAM/Controls from within ADAMS/View in the UNIX and Windows environments.

    In the UNIX environment, you start ADAMS/View from the ADAMS Toolbar, and then, from within ADAMS/View, you load the ADAMS/Controls plug-in. For information on the ADAMS Toolbar, see the guide, Running and Configuring ADAMS on UNIX.

    In the Windows environment, you start ADAMS/View from the Start menu, and then load the ADAMS/Controls plug-in. For more information, see the guide, Running ADAMS on Windows.

    To start ADAMS/View:

    1 Copy all of the files in install_dir/controls/examples/antenna to a new directory.

    2 Do either of the following depending on the platform on which you are running ADAMS/View:

    In UNIX, type the command to start the ADAMS Toolbar at the command

    prompt, and then press Enter. Select the ADAMS/View tool .

    In Windows, from the Start menu, point to Programs, point to ADAMS 12.0, point to AView, and then select ADAMS - View.

    The Welcome dialog box appears, in the ADAMS/View main window.

  • Getting Started Using ADAMS/Controls

    Introducing and Starting the Tutorials14

    Step One - Importing the ADAMS ModelNow youll import an ADAMS model and familiarize yourself with its construction by following the next four sections:

    Importing the ADAMS Model, 14

    Loading ADAMS/Controls, 15

    Running a Trial Simulation, 16

    Running a Trial Simulation, 16

    Importing the ADAMS Model

    1 In the Start In text box on the ADAMS/View welcome screen, enter the name of your new directory (the one created in Step 1 on page 13).

    This sets your new directory as your working directory.

    2 Select Close to close the ADAMS/View welcome screen and open ADAMS/View.

    3 In ADAMS/View, from the File menu, select Import.

    4 Right-click the File to Read text box, and then select Browse.

    The File Selection dialog box appears.

    5 Select the file antenna.cmd.

    6 Select OK.

    This file contains a model called main_olt. An antenna model like the one shown in Figure 4 on page 15 appears.

    7 Wait for the model to load and then select Render from the Main Toolbox to change the display of the antenna from a line drawing into a shaded, three-dimensional image.

  • Getting Started Using ADAMS/Controls

    Introducing and Starting the Tutorials15

    Figure 4. Shaded Model of Antenna

    Loading ADAMS/Controls

    Because ADAMS/Controls is a plug-in for ADAMS/View, you need to load ADAMS/Controls when you use it with ADAMS/View.

    To load ADAMS/Controls:

    From the Tools menu, point to Plugins, point to Controls, and then select Load.

    ADAMS/View loads the ADAMS/Controls plug-in.

    Azimuth rotor

    Antenna support

    Elevation bearings


    Reduction gear


  • Getting Started Using ADAMS/Controls

    Introducing and Starting the Tutorials16

    Familiarizing Yourself with the Model

    This model is designed so that its base turns in the azimuthal (horizontal) direction and its antenna moves in the vertical direction.

    To familiarize yourself with the model, locate the following components:

    Azimuth rotor (peach) tied by revolute joint to ground.

    Azimuth reduction gear (sky blue) tied by revolute joint to ground.

    Azimuth plate (magenta) tied by revolute joint to ground.

    Antenna support (silver) tied by fixed joint to plate.

    Elevation bearings (peach) tied by fixed joint to support.

    Antenna (sky blue) tied by revolute joint to bearings.

    Running a Trial Simulation

    To run a trial simulation with ADAMS/View:

    1 From the Main toolbox, select the Simulate tool .

    2 Enter the following in the Simulation container of...


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