Many engineering disciplines combined in Modelica and Dymola
Systems dynamics modeling is a central topic in the institute both for analysis of dynamic systems as well as being an integral part of advanced controllers. Since the available software systems on the market did not fulfill our needs, we founded together with other partners from Europe and the US the non-profit Modelica Association and develop together since 1996 the component-oriented modeling language Modelica, as well as Modelica libraries in many engineering fields. Martin Otter from the Control System Group of our institute is the chairman of the Modelica Association since 2000. He also organizes the development of the free Modelica standard library as well as the International Modelica Conferences (Modelica2000 in Lund, 2002 at DLR, 2003 in Linköping, 2005 in Hamburg).
Modelica is based on differential, algebraic, and discrete equations and is targeted for system simulation using components from all engineering domains. Several innovative concepts have been introduced with Modelica not available in other simulators, e.g., robust simulation of coupled friction elements, such as clutches, brakes, gear mesh efficiency, or pipe component models that are independent from the medium model (e.g., the pipe model can be used with gases, water, oil). The commercial Modelica simulation environment Dymola from the Swedish company Dynasim is used to perform actual simulations with Modelica, as well as pre and post processing in order to obtain efficient simulation code. We have a close cooperation with Dynasim since 1992.
First industrial applications with Modelica and Dymola date back to the beginning of year 2000. Since then, the usage is rapidly increasing. For example, most car manufacturers, such as BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Ford, Toyota are now using it. Besides direct benefits in our work (e.g., hardware-in-the-loop simulation of stiff systems, or automatic inversion of non-linear dynamic systems for advanced controllers), our leading know-how of Modelica and Dymola helps us to acquire new projects.
Libraries we contributed to
Modelica Standard Library:Collection of multi-purpose libraries
PowerTrain Library:Automotive drive trains and gearboxes
Flight Dynamics Library:Aircrafts