This study explores JWST thermal and structural testing issues and possible solutions, as presented to NASA in June 2004

Loss in optical fiber coupling efficiency and transmission are computed for a telecommunication optical circulator. Optical performance degradation is due to thermally induced optical errors in the two beam splitter cubes. The computation of the optical errors is discussed for two materials and the effects illustrated. Bulk volumetric absorption of the incident laser radiation from the input optical fiber and surface absorption via the coatings on the beam splitter interface generate temperature gradients.

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.

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.

Modeling to predict the condition of cryogenic propellants in an upper stage of a launch vehicle is necessary for mission planning and successful execution. Traditionally, this effort was performed using custom, in-house proprietary codes, limiting accessibility and application. Phenomena responsible for influencing the thermodynamic state of the propellant have been characterized as distinct events whose sequence defines a mission. These events include thermal stratification, passive thermal control roll (rotation), slosh, and engine firing.

Despite recent advances in computer aided design (CAD) based tools, spacecraft thermal analysis remains outside the realm of finite element method (FEM) based analysis. The primary complaints against FEM often cited are:

Structural and thermal engineers currently work independently of each other using unrelated tools, models, and methods. Without the ability to rapidly exchange design data and predicted performance, the achievement of the ideals of concurrent engineering is not possible.

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.