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Integrated Analysis Environments for Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow

"As technology matures, it disappears."
                                            - M. Weiser, Xerox PARC (paraphrased)

One of our key jobs at CRTech is to make our thermal/fluid solution technologies disappear ... to become components of a custom multidisciplinary design environment.

CRTech provides best-of-class user-extensible heat transfer and fluid flow design and analysis capabilities accessible through both geometric and nongeometric user interfaces. But we realize that some customers’ needs are best served with their own custom environment or interface. We are also strong proponents of multidisciplinary design analysis (MDA) and optimization (MDO), that is, system-level trade studies and other high-level design tasks that require the feedback of many specialized analyses and considerations: structural, electrical, CFD, aerothermal, optical, reliability, life cycle cost (LCC) or net present value (NPV), etc.

Therefore, not only are our tools highly extensible and customizable, and not only are they fully parametric and able to respond dynamically to model changes, but we also provide a powerful API (application programming interface) called OpenTD and other tools for integrating SINDA/FLUINT and Thermal Desktop®, RadCAD®, FloCAD® solution technologies into a higher-level design evaluation system. Such capabilities can be accessed using C#, MATLAB®, Python, Microsoft Excel®, Aras Comet SDPM, and Noesis' Optimus®, and OpenTD can be used to create new connections.

OpenTD allows you to automate many of the tasks performed interactively using Thermal Desktop's Graphical User Interface (GUI). OpenTD gives you the tools to programmatically create, query, edit, delete, run and control models. You can use any .NET language to interact with OpenTD (C#, VB.NET, F#, etc.) or any system that can load .NET assemblies such as MATLAB, Python, or Excel VSTO.

Download API Brochure

OpenTD Example: Coupled Non-Linear Thermal Structural Analysis

NASA Langley used OpenTD with MATLAB® to integrate Thermal Desktop into a non-linear thermal-structural analysis using Abaqus® to simulate thermal flutter as a proof-of-concept motivated by the Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout solar sail project.

Flowchart of Abaqus Procedure
Stohlman, O., Coupled radiative thermal and nonlinear stress analysis for thermal deformation in large space structures, AIAA SciTech 2018

OpenTD Example: Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Mission Operations

NASA JPL used OpenTD with C# and Excel® to integrate a Thermal Desktop model of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter into a process to reliably determine power required and temperature predictions for planned mission operations before each flight day.
Mars Helicopter Temperature and Power Predictions

Relevant Links

Additional Resources

Learn more about OpenTD in our User Forum.


Customizable Multidiscipline Environments for Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow Modeling, ICES 2004