1984-07-01

Overcoming Time-Integration Errors in SINDA's FWDBCK Solution Routine 840953

The FWDBCK time step, which is usually chosen intuitively to achieve adequate accuracy at reasonable computational costs, can in fact lead to large errors. NASA observed such errors in solving cryogenic problems on the COBE spacecraft, but a similar error is also demonstrated for a single node radiating to space. An algorithm has been developed for selecting the time step during the course of the simulation. The error incurred when the time derivative is replaced by the FWDBCK time difference can be estimated from the Taylor-Series expression for the temperature. The algorithm selects the time step to keep this error small. The efficacy of the method is demonstrated on the COBE and single-node problems.

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