New methodologies for the thermal modelling of CubeSats

Philip Reiss, P Hager, Charlotte Bewick (Lucking), Malcolm Macdonald

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

One of the main threats for the success of a CubeSat mission is the unbalanced distribution of thermal loads caused by internal and external heat sources. In order to design an appropriate thermal subsystem that can cope with these loads a detailed analysis is required. However, currently available thermal software is considered as being less convenient for the application with CubeSats, mainly due to the complexity of the modelling process. This paper examines thermal engineering issues for CubeSats and describes the development of new methodologies to realise a more appropriate thermal modelling and analysis specifically for such systems. This includes the utilisation of a component database and new approaches to create thermal couplings in the modelling process. A thermal software tool based on MATLABR was developed which implements these approaches to build the thermal model. Furthermore, the development of specific ray-tracing algorithms is presented to compute external radiation on the CubeSat. Application of the software for the thermal analysis of the UKube-1 CubeSat showed that the computational and methodological approaches provide good modelling capabilities and result similar temperature distributions as the professional software ESATAN TMSR .
LanguageEnglish
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2012
Event26th Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites - Logan, Utah, United States
Duration: 13 Aug 201216 Aug 2012

Conference

Conference26th Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites
CountryUnited States
CityLogan, Utah
Period13/08/1216/08/12

Fingerprint

Thermal Modeling
Methodology
Thermal Analysis
Process Modeling
Software
Thermal Model
Ray Tracing
Heat Source
Temperature Distribution
Software Tools
Hot Temperature
Subsystem
Ray tracing
Thermal load
Radiation
Thermoanalysis
Engineering
Internal
Temperature distribution
Modeling

Keywords

  • thermal modelling
  • CubeSats
  • thermal loading
  • external radiation
  • algorithm analysis

Cite this

Reiss, P., Hager, P., Bewick (Lucking), C., & Macdonald, M. (2012). New methodologies for the thermal modelling of CubeSats. Paper presented at 26th Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites, Logan, Utah, United States.
Reiss, Philip ; Hager, P ; Bewick (Lucking), Charlotte ; Macdonald, Malcolm. / New methodologies for the thermal modelling of CubeSats. Paper presented at 26th Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites, Logan, Utah, United States.21 p.
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Reiss, P, Hager, P, Bewick (Lucking), C & Macdonald, M 2012, 'New methodologies for the thermal modelling of CubeSats' Paper presented at 26th Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites, Logan, Utah, United States, 13/08/12 - 16/08/12, .

New methodologies for the thermal modelling of CubeSats. / Reiss, Philip; Hager, P; Bewick (Lucking), Charlotte; Macdonald, Malcolm.

2012. Paper presented at 26th Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites, Logan, Utah, United States.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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AU - Macdonald, Malcolm

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AB - One of the main threats for the success of a CubeSat mission is the unbalanced distribution of thermal loads caused by internal and external heat sources. In order to design an appropriate thermal subsystem that can cope with these loads a detailed analysis is required. However, currently available thermal software is considered as being less convenient for the application with CubeSats, mainly due to the complexity of the modelling process. This paper examines thermal engineering issues for CubeSats and describes the development of new methodologies to realise a more appropriate thermal modelling and analysis specifically for such systems. This includes the utilisation of a component database and new approaches to create thermal couplings in the modelling process. A thermal software tool based on MATLABR was developed which implements these approaches to build the thermal model. Furthermore, the development of specific ray-tracing algorithms is presented to compute external radiation on the CubeSat. Application of the software for the thermal analysis of the UKube-1 CubeSat showed that the computational and methodological approaches provide good modelling capabilities and result similar temperature distributions as the professional software ESATAN TMSR .

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KW - CubeSats

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Reiss P, Hager P, Bewick (Lucking) C, Macdonald M. New methodologies for the thermal modelling of CubeSats. 2012. Paper presented at 26th Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites, Logan, Utah, United States.