1991-07-01

ESARAD - The European Space Agency's Radiative Analyser 911587

ESARAD is an integrated suite of analysis tools for the calculation of view factors, radiative exchange factors and solar, albedo and planet heat fluxes. It will replace the VWHEAT software currently used by ESA subcontractors from the end of the first quarter of 1991.
The software provides efficient capabilities in terms of:
  • geometric modelling with the Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG) approach, using boolean operations (union and difference) between the geometric primitives,
  • calculation flexibility, calculation speed (over 2 orders of magnitude faster than VWHEAT), robustness, and guaranteed convergence, using a Monte-Carlo technique associated with a fast ray-tracing algorithm,
  • user friendliness based on a Graphical User Interface (GUI) using X-Window and OSF/Motif as widget set and including a high-level input language,
  • graphic representation of models using Phigs and PEX (Phigs Extension to X),
  • data storage (input models and simulation results) using the ORACLE database management system.
This paper presents the original aims of the ESARAD development and shows how these have been met by the product now available, and also presents the first results obtained by the European Space Agency using the ESARAD software.

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