Advancements in satellite technologies are increasing the power density of electronics and payloads. When the power consumption increases within a limited volume, waste heat generation also increases and this necessitates a proper and efficient thermal management system. Mostly, micro and nanosatellites use passive thermal control methods because of the low cost, no additional power requirement, ease of implementation, and better thermal performance. Passive methods lack the ability to meet certain thermal requirements on larger and smaller satellite platforms.

The crew exploration vehicle (CEV) service module (SM) main engine plume heating is analyzed using multiple numerical tools. The chemical equilibrium compositions and applications (CEA) code is used to compute the flow field inside the engine nozzle. The plume expansion into ambient atmosphere is simulated using an axisymmetric space-time conservation element and solution element (CE/SE) Euler code, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software.

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.

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.

Thermal engineering has long been left out of the concurrent engineering environment dominated by CAD (computer aided design) and FEM (finite element method) software.  Current tools attempt to force the thermal design process into an environment primarily created to support structural analysis, which results in inappropriate thermal models. As a result, many thermal engineers either build models “by hand” or use geometric user interfaces that are separate from and have little useful connection, if any, to CAD and FEM systems.