Using Finite Element Discretisation for Spacecraft Thermal Analysis 951608

For the past three decades spacecraft thermal analysis has been predominantly performed using lumped parameter solvers such as ESATAN and SINDA. This paper reports on the development of algorithms which allow the automatic generation of ESATAN/SINDA input files from finite element models. These input files contain the conductive and radiative links together with the solar, planet and albedo heat fluxes.
The use of these algorithms therefore provides the opportunity to reduce the time taken to generate ESATAN/SINDA files and to postprocess results easily using widely available packages. In addition it allows the incorporation of thermal analysis into the concurrent engineering practices which are now being introduced.


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