Session

Session VII: Spacecraft Systems

SSC09-VII-6.pdf (429 kB)
Presentation Slides

Abstract

Small spacecraft have become an attractive alternative for a significant class of space missions. They have the potential to provide valuable science data with shorter development times and at a reduced cost over traditional multi-instrument spacecraft. However, many of the legacy tools used for spacecraft design and analysis have considerable cost and complexity that are not suited to small spacecraft and their associated short development cycles. SatTherm is an alternative thermal analysis tool specifically developed for small spacecraft as a collaborative effort between the Mission Design Center at NASA Ames and San Jose State University. It is intended to be available to the small spacecraft community. SatTherm consists of an easy to use, Microsoft Excel user-interface coupled to a suite of Matlab routines that determine the time dependant temperature solution for spacecraft components. This paper presents a comparison that includes the accuracy of results and the ease of use between SatTherm and the commercially available Thermal Desktop software by Cullimore & Ring Technologies. A benchmark case of a model of the small spacecraft, PharmaSat, is presented. The time-dependant temperatures predicted by the SatTherm model agree with those predicted by the Thermal Desktop model within 4 Degrees Celsius or less. Both models are also validated by the flight data, recorded after the spacecraft was launched in May 2009 . This demonstrates that SatTherm can be a useful tool for the early design stage of a small spacecraft.

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Aug 12th, 9:45 AM

SatTherm: A Thermal Analysis and Design Tool for Small Spacecraft

Small spacecraft have become an attractive alternative for a significant class of space missions. They have the potential to provide valuable science data with shorter development times and at a reduced cost over traditional multi-instrument spacecraft. However, many of the legacy tools used for spacecraft design and analysis have considerable cost and complexity that are not suited to small spacecraft and their associated short development cycles. SatTherm is an alternative thermal analysis tool specifically developed for small spacecraft as a collaborative effort between the Mission Design Center at NASA Ames and San Jose State University. It is intended to be available to the small spacecraft community. SatTherm consists of an easy to use, Microsoft Excel user-interface coupled to a suite of Matlab routines that determine the time dependant temperature solution for spacecraft components. This paper presents a comparison that includes the accuracy of results and the ease of use between SatTherm and the commercially available Thermal Desktop software by Cullimore & Ring Technologies. A benchmark case of a model of the small spacecraft, PharmaSat, is presented. The time-dependant temperatures predicted by the SatTherm model agree with those predicted by the Thermal Desktop model within 4 Degrees Celsius or less. Both models are also validated by the flight data, recorded after the spacecraft was launched in May 2009 . This demonstrates that SatTherm can be a useful tool for the early design stage of a small spacecraft.