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Technical Paper

ThermXL: a Thermal Modelling Tool Integrated Within Microsoft® Excel

Numerous workers have made effort to harness the flexibility of spreadsheets to analyse thermal problems. One approach has been to execute a thermal analysis within the spreadsheet itself, however the usefulness is limited by the performance of the built-in solvers. In addition, spreadsheets must either be custom built for each application or founded on parameterised models from similar analyses. An alternate approach has been to add spreadsheet like capability to existing tools. Again, this loses the full flexibility of a spreadsheet. To overcome these limitations, ThermXL has been developed. ThermXL is a thermal lumped parameter network solver and generic model builder that is fully integrated within Microsoft® Excel. It is very flexible easy-to-use tool that is particularly suited to preliminary design and “What if…?” type parametric analyses. This paper describes the utility, functionality and architecture of ThermXL.
Technical Paper

DC: A Solution for Multi-Disciplinary Simulations Using Thermal and ECLS Software

Nowadays there are many well-proved and widely used software packages for the analysis of thermal and ECLS systems for space applications. These packages tend to be difficult to work with when they have to deal with aspects related to other disciplines. It may be rather cumbersome for example to couple at run time an ECLS package and a thermal package that have to exchange variables such as interface temperatures and heat flows or to re-use thermal models in real-time spacecraft simulators to support training and operations tasks. DC (including protocols and client/server libraries) addresses the widely discussed issue of creating multi- disciplinary and distributed applications, but focusing on the special requirements of Thermal and ECLS analysis tools used by ESA and by the European Space Industry.
Technical Paper

Automatic Conductor Generation for Thermal Lumped Parameter Models

The calculation of linear conductors for a thermal lumped parameter (TLP) model, to be used with ESATAN (ref 1.) or SINDA, is one of the last parts of the thermal model preparation that is not yet fully automated. Most users calculate the conductors by hand or have their own special spreadsheets, or other tools, which can calculate some of these for a series of combinations of simple shaped TLP-nodes. For TLP-nodes with more complex shapes these tools cannot be used. The current paper presents two generally applicable methods to automate the generation of the linear conductors for thermal lumped parameter models
Technical Paper

A Tool for Flexible and Rapid Thermal Analysis and Design in Feasibility and Preliminary Phases of Space Projects

Feasibility and preliminary phases of space projects are aimed to answer to the very fundamental question whether a spacecraft (S/C) exists that can fulfil the mission objectives. In particular the thermal engineers must assess whether a possible configuration is feasible from the thermal point of view, or what modifications could make it suitable. The paper presents the Thermal Concept Design Tool (TCDT), a new software tool under development at Blue Engineering and Alenia Spazio for the European Space Agency (ESA), designed with the objective to assist the thermal engineers in reducing at minimum the effort required by simulation activities and focusing mainly on conceptual activities during feasibility and preliminary studies.