Applications of Thermal Software Coratherm to Provide Spacecraft Thermo-Elastic Inputs 2001-01-2439
Availability of low cost high performance computing techniques leads to propose and assess a new and more accurate method dedicated to the thermo-elasticity studies, in order to refine pointing system simulation (star trackers for example) for the future scientific missions. Such a new tool should prevent over sizing and allow to relax other subsystem constraints. Moreover it should initiate a more clever and efficient collaboration between thermal and mechanical engineers.
Coratherm capabilities have been used to build a Thermal/Mechanical interface based on two complementary approaches and so to provide thermo-elastic inputs on panels with equipment.
The first of both above solutions uses a MECHANICAL FE (Finite Element) NASTRAN model as input and calculates temperature on each of its nodes. It is not a time saving solution but it constitutes a direct NASTRAN-CORATHERM-NASTRAN interface. It should become a very convenient tool for mechanical engineers.
The second solution simply uses the Coratherm conductive sub-model to provide a detailed cartography of temperature on the panel without overloading the thermal model. This solution is less adapted to a rigorous thermo-elasticity analysis and requires for that an additional interface to interpolate temperatures on nodes of the NASTRAN FE model. However such a tool is very convenient and rapid for thermal engineers who want to check the consistency of their nodal model.
In both cases, temperature distribution calculation for FE thermal loading does not come from a simple conductive interpolation but is the result of calculations based on a physically-consistent method so called Equivale. These interfaces, which implement a new methodology for thermo-elastic studies, have been used in the frame of the JACO3* European project whose objective is to develop a high performance distributed computing environment for coupling simulation codes (mechanics and thermics marketed and in-house codes).