MathWorks announced strengthened support for wireless communications and radar design with MATLAB and Simulink. Release 2013a (R2013a) enhancements to Phased Array System Toolbox and SimRF now allow wireless communications and radar system designers to speed up modeling and simulation within the familiar MATLAB and Simulink environments. 

Phased Array System Toolbox helps users to model an end-to-end phased array system or process acquired radar data by using new capabilities for polarization, array perturbations, and broadband arrays. SimRF includes a new circuit envelope solver to accelerate simulation and model load time; it also expands its library of components for the simulation of RF front ends at the system level. These enhancements help radar and communications system designers to model increasingly complex scenarios with greater accuracy and performance.

“We rely heavily on MATLAB to design and model phased array performance in RADAR and communication markets,” said Robert Liechty, business development manager at Cobham Defense Electronics. “Phased Array System Toolbox has helped us rapidly measure and analyze antenna beam patterns with beam steering to evaluate our design performance. We are pleased to see major enhancements in Release 2013a such as the Sensor Array Analyzer App and new statistical modeling capabilities that will allow more of our engineers to work more efficiently with Phased Array System Toolbox.”

“As wireless and radar communications systems become more complex, designers need to be able to see how RF devices and signal processing algorithms interact with each other to affect overall system behavior,” said Ken Karnofsky, senior strategist for signal processing at MathWorks. “These new capabilities in MATLAB and Simulink eliminate the time and effort required to maintain separate tools and legacy code bases.”

The major update to Phased Array System Toolbox includes:

  • Monostatic and multistatic radar system modeling, including point targets, free-space propagation, surface clutter, and barrage jammer to help estimate maximum range, peak power, and SNR of a radar system.
  • Modeling of sensor arrays and subarrays with arbitrary geometries for beam pattern analysis of linear, planar, and conformal sensor arrays.
  • Polarization and platform motion specification for arrays and targets.
  • GPU support to accelerate clutter modeling.

Key enhancements to SimRF include:

  • Faster circuit envelope simulation of multiple carrier-frequency models for arbitrary architectures. Combined with equivalent baseband technology for discrete-time simulation of single-carrier cascaded systems, this enables rapid RF modeling and simulation at the system level.
  • Reduced simulation startup time.
  • Easier setup of circuit envelope simulation with enhanced configuration block, including unlimited number of simulation frequencies and automatic selection of fundamental tones.
  • New models for active and passive components (amplifier, mixer, LC ladder, transformer, noise) and custom SimRF model authoring using the Simscape language.


R2013a, including the updated versions of SimRF and Phased Array System Toolbox, is available immediately. For additional information, see the Latest Features page.