Post Processing Graphical User Interface for Heat Flow Visualization



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2024 International Conference on Environmnetal Systems


Thermal Desktop (TD) is an industry-standard thermal analysis tool used to create and analyze thermal models for landers, rovers, spacecraft, and instrument payloads. Currently, limited software exists to extract and visualize metrics relevant to heat flow within TD, impeding thermal engineers from analyzing their results quickly. This paper discusses a graphical user interface (GUI) built in MATLAB and C++ which uses TD's application programming interface (API), OpenTD, and a custom parser to address this void. Specifically, we present a method for efficiently loading temperature, conductance, and submodel metrics using a side effect of TD's Compressed Solution Results (CSR) files. This approach can reduce the runtime for correlating model nodes and conductors with submodel IDs by orders of magnitude. Lastly, we reflect on the shortcomings of this method for reading data, consider the future of the GUI, and provide recommendations for subsequent OpenTD releases.


Lars Olt, Western Washington University, USA
Luis Diego Fonseca Flores, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), USA
Ian Mckinley, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), USA
ICES207: Thermal and Environmental Control Engineering Analysis and Software
The 53rd International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, on 21 July 2024 through 25 July 2024.


Thermal Desktop, Graphical User Interface, OpenTD, Matlab, Compressed Solution Results, Thermal Modeling