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.

With the release of Thermal Desktop 6.0, users now had the ability to interface with some of the many elements and constructs of a Thermal Desktop model through external applications developed using the TD API (Application Programming Interface). This file allows applications to be developed in the .NET framework and interface to a number of object types within a Thermal Desktop model. The release of 6.1 expands the subset of objects able to be manipulated and now includes the raw geometrical information of surfaces. With the release of 6.1, the API was now referred to as OpenTD.

Understanding fluid behavior in microgravity is essential to further development of cryogenic storage in space environments. The Reduced Gravity Cryogenic Transfer project is designed to investigate tank chilldown in a microgravity environment onboard a parabolic flight. This work focused on examining the feasibility of chilling down different tank sizes using liquid nitrogen within the time constraints of the flight. Thermal models of four different tank geometries were made using Thermal Desktop and SINDA/FLUINT.

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.

Automated design space exploration was implemented and demonstrated in the form of the multidisciplinary optimization of the design of a space-based telescope.

A method for determining margins in conceptual-level design via probabilistic methods is described. The goal of this research is to develop a rigorous foundation for determining design margins in complex multidisciplinary systems. As an example application, the investigated method is applied to conceptual-level design of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) cruise stage thermal control system. The method begins with identifying a set oftradable system-level parameters. Models that determine each of these tradable parameters are then created.

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.

A study of the mechanical systems contributing to the design and performance of a picosatellite’s mission in low-Earth orbit (LEO) was performed through design and analysis. The unique architecture of this satellite stems from a form factor established by the internationally recognized CubeSat Program. This CubeSat-Plus architecture limits the satellite’s size to be no larger than a 10 x 10 x 15 cm cube with an overall mass not exceeding 2 kg.

This paper provides an overview of the non-grey radiation modeling capabilities of Cullimore and Ring’s Thermal Desktop® Version 4.8 SindaWorks software. The non-grey radiation analysis theory implemented by Sindaworks and the methodology used by the software are outlined.

Thermoelectric couples are solid-state devices capable of generating electrical power from a temperature gradient (known as the Seebeck effect) or converting electrical energy into a temperature gradient (known as the Peltier effect). Thermoelectric coolers, being solid state devices, have no moving parts which makes them inherently reliable and ideal for cooling components in a system sensitive to mechanical vibration. The ability to use TECs to heat as well as cool makes them suitable for applications requiring temperature stabilization of a device over a specified temperature range.