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.

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.

Most radiation analysis tools in use in the aerospace industry assume that grey conditions hold. That is, over the range of temperatures considered, optical properties are assumed to have a constant value with respect to wavelength. This reasonable approximation for systems that are near room temperature may show significant error at temperature extremes, particulary for conductive materials at cryogenic temperatures. Other areas where non-grey analysis may be appropriate is in furnace and lamp design, and in systems with specialized optical filters such as thermalphotovoltaics.