Interdisciplinary Analysis from the Spacecraft Thermal Analyst's Viewpoint 921291
The Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has numerous spacecraft design challenges past, present, and future. Many of these tasks require multidiscipline analyses to develop a complete design. Telescopes, turbomachinery, furnaces, and payload carrier equipment are a few examples of projects at the Center which have required a crossflow of data between two or more disciplines. Disciplines involved in these tasks have included design, computational fluid dynamics, aerodynamics/heating, thermal control, stress, structural dynamics, pointing and controls, and optics to produce an integrated product. The flow of input/output data and interactions between the various disciplines have been the subject of a recent internal study at the Center.
Software packages, as well as the organizational structure necessary to create the best environment for the union of interdisciplinary outputs/inputs, are of special interest. A number of examples of past analyses at the Center which required multidiscipline data flows are discussed. Existing tools including global software packages for allowing efficient interdisciplinary data exchange, as well as the use of a number of smaller individual packages to achieve the same ends, are examined. Specific software programs utilized by the various interfacing disciplines in achieving the desired calculations are itemized and examined, especially from the interface compatibility viewpoint. This paper addresses these examinations from a thermal analyst's viewpoint. In so doing, examples of past and present, as well as potential future tasks which have thermal evaluations integral to them, are examined. Some new programs which have the potential to make computerized communications more efficient are discussed. Finally, observations regarding potential options and recommendations for improvements in the MSFC equipment, software, and organization to produce an improved process are provided.