1.    Product Overview

The Links-RT real-time simulation software package is an HIL simulation system software product independently developed by Links and is dedicated to providing users with fast prototype design and hardware-in-the-loop solutions.

2.    Development Process

  1. Digital Simulation: First, establish a mathematical model in the Simulink environment, and then preliminary verify the model and algorithms through mathematical simulation under Simulink;
  2. HIL Model Preparation: Modify the digital simulation model, add hardware I/O modules, and establish an HIL simulation model;
  3. Automatic Generation of Target Code: After setting the parameters of the HIL model, the automatic code generation tool can be invoked to convert the Simulink model into C code and compile it into an executable program on the VxWorks system;
  4. Simulation Configuration Management: In the RT-Sim master control software, follow the software instructions to establish a simulation project, set simulation target machine attributes, configure monitoring, save variables, and prepare for real-time simulation;
  5. Real-Time Simulation: In the RT-Sim software, click the [Start] button to start simulation; the executable program generated by HIL model compilation will be automatically downloaded to the target machine and start running in real time, interacting with physical devices through IO hardware; the RT-Sim software of the host computer monitors the status of the target machine through the Ethernet and supports online parameter modification, start/stop control, real-time data storage, and other functions;
  6. Simulated Data Post-Processing: After simulation, RT-Sim performs real-time stored data upload, format conversion (supported formats include txt, xls, mat, etc.), data playback, etc. It can be seamlessly integrated with tools such as Matlab and Excel and be used for simple data processing.

3.    Software Composition 

1.      Basic Composition



Function description

Master Control Software


RT-Sim, as the master control software of Links-RT, imports the model files of Simulink and the generated code, establishes a corresponding simulation project, and completes the simulation initialization configuration.

IO Module Library


RT-Lib is a functional module library integrated by Links-RT into the Matlab Simulink environment and is a complementation and extension of the Simulink tool kit. It provides the Simulink encapsulated modules for the I/O hardware used in the system, enabling users to directly integrate hardware I/O functions into the Simulink model and design HIL simulated models.

Real-Time Code Generation Component


RT-Coder is integrated into the Matlab Simulink environment to enable the Matlab Simulink model to directly generate VxWorks target code.

Target Machine Real-Time Simulation Engine


RT-Engine is a simulation engine that runs on the VxWorks OS and provides models with a real-time operating environment that includes: simulator start/stop control, FTP service, data communication service, data storage service, model scheduling service, etc.

2.      Extension Component



Function description

Interface Control Instruction Library


RT-API provides a rich interface function library, connects with third-party virtual instruments and visual software (such as LabVIEW, Vega Prime, and GL Studio), and can be invoked in development environments such as VC and VB.

OPC Service Component


RT-OPC provides interfaces (OPC Server) for quick access to RT-Sim data. Through these interfaces, users’ OPC Client can indirectly connect to the hardware equipment on the simulation platform.

ICD Management Software

ICD Studio

ICD Studio is a piece of ICD database management software developed to address the complexity of electronic system interfaces and the importance of interface control. ICD Studio can provide ICD file import, editing, and maintenance functions to make the ICD more secure and reliable, capable of satisfying the demand for complex ICD data management.

3D visual component


RT-3D is an extended functional component of the LINKS-RT system and supports three-dimensional visualized simulation in multiple scenarios (such as guided weapons, airplanes, ships, and satellites). It can directly and vividly display the simulation process.

Note: Basic components are mandatory components of the Links-RT real-time simulation software package, whereas extended components can be flexibly configured based on demands.

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