Development, Benchmarking and Validation of an Automated Thermal Model Correlation Tool
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An essential part in the development of a spacecraft is the establishment of a thermal model for the thermal design and the temperature predictions during the operation phase. Targeting for most accurate predicted temperatures, all thermal models of spacecraft are correlated with measurements from thermal tests or flight data. A tool for the automated correlation of thermal models has been developed and is named TAUMEL. The tool makes use of a very fast steady-state solving algorithm based on simplified governing equations. The principle method of the correlation is the variation of thermal conductors in the thermal model, whilst thermal capacitances and boundary conditions are excluded from modification. A beta version showed very promising results, focusing on the feasibility of such a tool and the method of the automated correlation (ICES-2015-61). This paper presents the further development, testing, benchmarking and validation of TAUMEL. With the implementation and user friendliness in focus, the tool has been tested on several thermal models. The performance of TAUMEL has been further improved. The obtained results have been benchmarked against common correlation methods on thermal models with available test data. Furthermore, the results obtained by TAUMEL have been validated on the thermal models of a one- and twenty-Newton hot gas thruster, using measurement data of steady-state hot run tests. The implementation and user-friendliness, the obtained results and the performance of TAUMEL are presented in this paper.