Large space structures are capable of large thermal deformations in the space environment. A case of large-scale thermal deformation was observed in the analysis of the Near Earth Asteroid Scout solar sail, with predicted tip displacements of more than one meter in seven-meter booms. Experimental data supports the broad conclusions of the analysis, but shows poor agreement on the details of the thermal deformation. Prediction that is precise enough to drive engineering decisions will require coupled thermal-stress analysis with features that are not found in current multiphysics codes.

Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has been developing a framework of additional analysis capabilities to aid in the verification, development, and execution of thermal models using the OpenTD Application Programming Interface (API). This paper provides a brief overview of the data structures, properties, methods, and relationships between the objects accessible through the current API and describes some of the algorithms necessary to implement the desired functions at GSFC. Some example code snippets are also provided to aid potential users in the development of their own utilities.

The Mars Helicopter will be a technology demonstration conducted during the Mars 2020 mission. The primary mission objective is to achieve several 90-second flights and capture visible light images via forward and nadir mounted cameras. These flights could possibly provide reconnaissance data for sampling site selection for other Mars surface missions. The helicopter is powered by a solar array, which stores energy in secondary batteries for flight operations, imaging, communications, and survival heating.

Loop heat pipes (LHPs) are used in multiple terrestrial and space applications. Transient analysis of conventional and advanced loop heat pipes with complex radiators under varying conditions where the heat load and the effective sink temperature change in time can be best accomplished using Thermal Desktop™.

Maintaining low temperature payloads through atmospheric reentry and ground recovery is becoming a larger focus in the space program as work in biology, cryogenic and other temperature dependent sciences becomes a higher goal on the International Space Station (ISS) and extraterrestrial surfaces. Paragon analyzes reentry system thermal control, particularly technology regarding small thermally controlled payloads anticipated for use in sample return from the International Space Station.

A cryogenic capillary pumped loop (CPL) has been developed, designed, fabricated and successfully demonstrated by test. Using no moving parts, the novel device is able to start from a supercritical state and cool a remote dissipation source to 80-90K. Design studies were conducted for integration requirements and component design optimization and prototype units were designed, fabricated and successfully tested with excellent results.

In recent years, loop heat pipe (LHP) technology has transitioned from a developmental technology to one that is flight ready. The LHP is considered to be more robust than capillary pumped loops (CPL) because the LHP does not require any preconditioning of the system prior to application of the heat load, nor does its performance become unstable in the presence of two-phase fluid in the core of the evaporator. However, both devices have a lower limit on input power: below a certain power, the system may not start properly.

The loop heat pipe (LHP) is known to have a lower limit on input power. Below this limit the system may not start properly creating the potential for critical payload components to overheat. The LHP becomes especially susceptible to these low power start-up failures following diode operation, intentional shut-down of the device, or very cold conditions. These limits are affected by the presence of adverse tilt, mass on the evaporator, and noncondensible gas in the working fluid.

The Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) is a facility being designed for scientific and industrial research and development. The SNS will generate and employ neutrons as a research tool in a variety of disciplines including biology, material science, superconductivity, chemistry, etc. The neutrons will be produced by bombarding a heavy metal target with a high-energy beam of protons, generated and accelerated with a linear particle accelerator, or linac. The low energy end of the linac consists of, in part, a multi-cell copper structure termed a coupled cavity linac (CCL).