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Integrated Analysis of Thermal/Structural/Optical Systems
Productivity bottlenecks for integrated thermal, structural, and optical design activities were identified and systematically eliminated, making possible automated exchange of design information between different engineering specialties.
The problems with prior approaches are summarized, then the implementation of the corresponding solutions is documented. Although the goal of this project was the automated evaluation of coupled thermal/optical/structural designs, significant process improvements were achieved for subset activities such as stand-alone thermal, thermal/ structural, and structural/optical design analysis.
Author: B. Cullimore, T. Panczak, J. Baumann, Dr. Victor Genberg, Mark Kahan
Content Tags: finite element, finite elements, finite difference, parametric, conductance, contact conductance, design optimization, robust design, optical, registers, radiation, dynamic SINDA, dynamic mode
Automated Multidisciplinary Optimization of a Space-based Telescope
Automated design space exploration was implemented and demonstrated in the form of the multidisciplinary optimization of the design of a space-based telescope.
Off-the-shelf software representing the industry standards for thermal, structural, and optical analysis were employed. The integrated thermal/structural/optical models were collected and tasked with finding an optimum design using yet another off-the-shelf program. Using this integrated tool, the minimum mass thermal/structural design was found that directly satisfied optical performance requirements without relying on derived requirements such as isothermality and mechanical stability. Overdesign was therefore avoided, and engineering productivity was greatly improved.
This ambitious project was intended to be a pathfinder for integrated design activities. Therefore, difficulties and lessons learned are presented, along with recommendations for future investigations.
Author: B. Cullimore, T. Panczak, J. Baumann
Parametric Models and Optimization for Rapid Thermal Design
Traditionally, the preliminary thermal design is behind the mechanical and electrical spacecraft design. Many factors contribute to this including a lack of detailed physical characteristics of the spacecraft and knowledge of the distribution of the thermal loads within the spacecraft. Therefore, the thermal design typically reacts to the mechanical and electrical designs. The thermal analyst gets a configuration and then tries to wrap an acceptable solution around it. The analyst relies on years of experience and trial and error to determine the appropriate design cases and create a thermal design. Depending on the experience level of the engineer, several iterations may be necessary to determine the worst-case design points and an acceptable thermal design.
Suppose analysis tools were available that would allow the thermal engineer to rapidly produce preliminary designs and weave the thermal design requirements such as thermal radiator size, preferred radiator location and heat load location into the overall spacecraft design. The result would be a more integrated spacecraft thermal design completed in less time using less of the spacecraft resources.
Advances in thermal analysis software provide the tools for the thermal engineer to perform preliminary analyses more quickly and accurately than ever before. The result is that the thermal engineer can have a greater influence on the spacecraft design process.
Source: SAE Technical Paper Series
Author: D. Martin
Free Molecular Heat Transfer Programs for Setup and Dynamic Updating the Conductors in Thermal Desktop
Thermal Desktop has the capability of modeling free molecular heat transfer (FMHT), but limitations are observed when working with large models during transient operation. To overcome this limitation, a MatLab program was developed that processes the Thermal Desktop free molecular conductors. It sets up the logic and arrays for the Thermal Desktop GUI used by SINDA/FLUINT. The theory of free molecular heating is presented along with the process required to setup the conductors, arrays, logic and Fortran subroutines for FMHT modeling in Thermal Desktop.
Author: Eric T. Malroy
Content Tags: transient, third-party software, user-defined Fortran array, radiation analysis groups, surface elements, radiation, radiation calculations, case set manager, user-defined Fortran arrays (UDFAs), submodels, radks
Collaborative design and analysis of Electro-Optical sensors
Complex products are best developed in a collaborative design environment where engineering data and CAD/CAE results can be shared across engineering discipline boundaries within a common software interface. A new software tool that allows Electro-Optical (EO) sensors to be developed in this manner has been used to conduct an integrated Structural/Thermal/Optical (STOP) analysis of a critical lens subassembly in a flight payload. This paper provides a description of the software environment and a summary of the technical results that were produced with it.
Source: The Aerospace Corporation
Author: Jason Geis, Jeff Lang, Leslie Peterson, Francisco Roybal, David Thomas
Content Tags: concurrent engineering, concurrent design, third-party software, mesh, finite element, mashing, parametric, material properties, optical properties, boundary conditions, conductance, structural, thermocouples, transient
Reliability Engineering and Robust Design: New Methods for Thermal/Fluid Engineering
Recent years have witnessed more improvement to the SINDA/FLUINT thermohydraulic analyzer than at any other time in its long history. These improvements have included not only expansions in analytic power, but also the additions of high-level modules that offer revolutions in thermal/ fluid engineering itself.
One such high-level module, “Reliability Engineering,” is described in this paper. Reliability Engineering means considering tolerances in design parameters, uncertainties in environments, uncertainties in application (e.g. usage scenarios), and variations in manufacturing as the stochastic phenomena that they are. Using this approach, the probability that a design will achieve its required performance (i.e., the reliability) is calculated, providing an assessment of risk or confidence in the design, and quantifying the amount of over- or under-design present.
The design to be evaluated for reliability will likely have been produced using traditional methods. Possibly, the design was generated using the Solver optimizer, another high-level module available in SINDA/FLUINT. Using design optimization, the user quantifies the goals that make one design better than another (mass, efficiency, etc.), and specifies the thresholds or requirements which render a given design viable or useless (exceeding a performance limit, etc.). SINDA/FLUINT then automatically searches for an optimal design.
Robust Design means factoring reliability into the development of the design itself: designing for a target reliability and thereby avoiding either costly over-design or dangerous under-design in the first place. Such an approach eliminates a deterministic stack-up of tolerances, worst-case scenarios, safety factors, and margins that have been the traditional approaches for treating uncertainties.
In any real system or product, heat transfer and fluid flow play a limited role: there are many other aspects to a successful design than the realm of thermal/fluids that is encompassed by SINDA/FLUINT. Therefore, this paper concludes with brief descriptions of methods for performing interdisciplinary design tasks.
Source: CRTech White Paper
Author: Brent A. Cullimore
Content Tags: design optimization, reliability engineering, robust design, constraints, boundary conditions, concurrent design, concurrent engineering, batteries, flow control, orifices, radiator, registers, two-phase flow, solver, model correlation, dynamic SINDA, dynamic mode, variables, Monte Carlo, material properties, third-party software, uncertainty analysis, uncertainty
Beyond Point Design Evaluation
Customizable Multidiscipline Environments for Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow Modeling
Thankfully, the age of stand-alone fixed-input simulation tools is fading away in favor of more flexible and integrated solutions. “Concurrent engineering” once meant automating data translations between monolithic codes, but sophisticated users have demanded more native integration and more automated tools for designing, and not just evaluating point designs. Improvements in both interprocess communications technology and numerical solutions have gone a long way towards meeting those demands.
This paper describes a small slice of a larger on-going effort to satisfy current and future demands for integrated multidisciplinary tools that can be highly customized by end-users or by third parties. Specifically, the ability to integrate fully featured thermal/fluid simulations into Microsoft’s Excel™ and other software is detailed. Users are now able not only to prepare custom user interfaces, they can use these codes as portals that allow integration activities at a larger scale. Previous enabling technologies are first described, then examples and repercussions of current capabilities are presented, and finally in-progress and future technologies are listed.
Author: B. Cullimore, S. G. Ring, J. Baumann
Automating Thermal Analysis with Thermal Desktop
Thermal analysis is typically executed with multiple tools in a series of separate steps for performing radiation analysis, generating conduction and capacitance data, and for solving temperatures. This multitude of programs often leads to many user files that become unmanageable with their multitude, and the user often looses track as to which files go with which cases. In addition to combining the output from multiple programs, current processes often involve the user inputting various hand calculations into the math model to account for MLI/Insulation and contact conductance between entities. These calculations are not only tedious to make, but users often forget to update them when the geometry is changed.
Several new features of Thermal Desktop are designed to automate some of the tedious tasks that thermal engineers now practice. To start with, Thermal Desktop is a single program that does radiation analysis, generates conduction/capacitance data and automates the building of a SINDA/FLUINT model to solve for temperatures. Some of these new features of Thermal Desktop are Radiation Analysis Groups, Property Aliases, MLI/Insulation Objects, Contact Conductance Objects, Model Browser, and the Case Set Manager.
This paper describes the application and benefits of Thermal Desktop along with other unique features used to automate the thermal analysis process.
Author: Mark J. Welch, Tim Panczak
Parametric Thermal Analysis and Optimization Using Thermal Desktop
Thermal analysis is typically performed using a point design approach, where a single model is analyzed one analysis case at a time. Changes to the system design are analyzed by updating the thermal radiation and conduction models by hand, which can become a bottleneck when attempting to adopt a concurrent engineering approach. This paper presents the parametric modeling features that have been added to Thermal DesktopTM to support concurrent engineering. The thermal model may now be characterized by a set of design variables that are easily modified to reflect system level design changes. Geometric features, optical and material properties, and orbital elements may all be specified using user-defined variables and expressions. Furthermore, these variables may be automatically modified by Thermal Desktop’s optimization capabilities in order to satisfy user-defined design goals, or for correlating thermal models to test data. By sharing the set of design variables among analysis models spanning multiple disciplines, further integrated analysis and design may be accomplished. The framework into which Thermal Desktop is embedded in order to support an integrated Thermal/Structural/Optical design, analysis, and optimization system is also presented.
Author: Timothy D. Panczak, Brent A. Cullimore
Content Tags: concurrent engineering, parametric, parameterize, register, registers, dynamic mode, dynamic SINDA, symbol manager, expression editor, expressions, design optimization, orbital heating, model correlation, solver, optical properties, heat pipes, symbol, variables, case set manager, properties, structural