Inputs and outputs

A general tether model should be able to simulate a tether that connects two arbitrary points in space. The first tutorial examples assume one (fixed) point to be at the coordinate [0,0,0].

We assume that one end of the tether is either fixed or attached to a winch, and the other end is fixed or attached to a load that applies a force on the tether.


  • Either or
    • pos1: [x1,y1,z1] vector [m] and vel1: speed vector of point one [m/s]
    • force1: vector of force applied to point one
  • Either or
    • pos2: [x2,y2,z2] vector [m] and vel2: speed vector of point two [m/s]
    • force2: [fx2, fy2, fz2] vector of the force applied to point two [N]
  • v_ro: reel-out speed at point one, scalar [m/s]
  • v_wind: vector of the wind speed at reference height [m/s]


  • If fixed_point_one:
    • force1: [fx1, fy1, fz1] force vector, felt at point one [N]
  • if fixed_point_two:
    • force2: [fx1, fy1, fz1] force vector, felt at point one [N]
  • pos: vector of the position vectors of the tether particles [m]
  • vel: vector of the velocity vectors of the tether particles [m/s]
  • forces: vector of the scalar forces per tether segment [N]


  • fixed_point_one: boolean
  • fixed_point_two: boolean
  • segments: number of tether segments [-]
  • d_tether: tether diameter [mm]
  • rho_tether: tether density [kg/m³]
  • c_spring: unit spring constant [N]
  • damping: unit damping constant [Ns]
  • l0: initial unstretched tether length [m]
  • v_ro0: initial reel-out speed [m/s]
  • pos1_0: initial position of point one [m/s]
  • pos2_0: initial position of point two [m/s]
  • vel1_0: initial speed vector of point one [m/s]
  • vel2_0: initial speed vector of point two [m/s]
  • rho: density of the fluid at position zero and 15 °C (water, air) [kg/m³]
  • h_ref: reference height for the wind speed [m]
  • alpha: exponent of the wind profile law [-]
  • z0: surface roughness [m]
  • profile_law: integer, 1=EXP, 2=LOG, 3=EXPLOG, 4=FASTEXP, 5=FASTLOG, 6=FAST_EXPLOG

Model export as functional mockup unit

Functional mockup units (FMUs) are a standard to exchange models between different simulation environments, heavily used by the car and the aerospace industries.

Simulink, Python, Modelica etc can import FMU models. They are distributed as a zip file that contains a shared library and an XML description.

A good and detailed introduction can be found here.

For the export of Julia models as FMU the package FMIExport can be used. For importing FMU models in Python the software PyFMI can be used. FMU import with Simulink is documented here.

Because not everybody is using Julia as main development and simulation environment we plan to provide a tether model as FMU, but this will not be possible before this issue is resolved.


  • FMU: Functional mockup unit
  • FMI: Functional mockup interface
  • FMI for model exchange: A model without a solver
  • FMI for co-simulation: A model that includes its own solver