Miniature X-ray Solar Spectrometer (MinXSS)

by James Mason, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP)

Thermal analysis of Miniature X-ray Solar SpectrometerThe Miniature X-ray Solar Spectrometer (MinXSS) 3U CubeSat is a loaf-of-bread sized spacecraft currently in low Earth orbit. Its science objective is to measure the energy distribution of soft x-ray sunlight. This part of the spectrum is precisely where the greatest enhancement from solar flares -- explosions that amount to more than 1000x the total world energy consumption over the last 42 years  -- is expected. MinXSS measurements will aid in our scientific understanding of flares and their influence on the Earth's upper atmosphere. MinXSS was designed, built, and is operated at the University of Colorado, Boulder (CU) Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP). 

The MinXSS science measurements depend on the success of the spacecraft as a whole. Temperature is a critical component to that success. At LASP, we used Thermal Desktop to predict the orbital temperature range for each component of the spacecraft and provide confidence that those components would stay within their operational limits. Furthermore, the science instrument needs to be kept quite cold (-50 ºC), so Thermal Desktop was used to test thermal designs that could achieve this important thermal requirement. We also created a model of our thermal vacuum chamber and ran simulations to compare to our thermal balance testing, which provided us with confidence in the model orbit predictions. Overall, Thermal Desktop enables a level of precision prediction that would be prohibitively labor intensive otherwise. The GUI makes visualization of the model intuitive and the depth built into the straight-forward menus provide a level of control and fine-tuning that match our needs for satellite design. 

Click here to learn more about MinXSS


Advanced Pipes in FloCAD
Thursday November 14, 9-10am MT (8-9am PT, 11am-noon ET)
This webinar introduces advanced features for FloCAD pipes in addition to working with complex geometry. Complex geometry includes interior fins and surfaces for heat transfer, flow around enclosed objects, annular flow, concentric pipes, and more. FK Locators and TEEs as modeling objects will also be introduced.
Custom Heat Transfer and Pressure Drops
Tuesday November 19, 2-3pm MT (1-2pm PT, 4-5pm ET)
Do you know what the default assumptions are in FloCAD, and whether or not they apply in your situation? Do you know how far you can go past that starting point? The answer: pretty far. There are numerous mechanisms in FloCAD for adjusting factors, scaling uncertainties, and applying different or supplemental correlations. This webinar summarizes the options available to you to customize your flow models to make sure that they apply to each new situation you encounter.
Heat Exchangers: Detailed and System-level
Thursday November 21, 2-3pm MT (1-2pm PT, 4-5pm ET)
This is two webinars in one. The first explains the use and assumptions behind the FloCAD HX system-level modeling object. The second webinar describes detailed-level modeling of complex heat exchanger passages, including application of Compact Heat Exchanger (CHX) methods.
Starting in 2020, we will begin offering Introduction to Thermal Desktop and Introduction to RadCAD as either in-person training or online training, alternating between online and in-person every three months. The training uses lectures and demonstrations to introduce you to basic Thermal Desktop and RadCAD usage. Hands-on tutorials provide practice building models and interpreting results (tutorials are completed by students outside of the online class time).
The next training class will be an online format in January 2020:
  • Introduction to Thermal Desktop (and SINDA) - A three-part series on January 14, 16, and 21 from 9am to 12pm, Mountain time
  • Introduction to RadCAD - January 23 from 9am to 12pm, Mountain time
For up-to-date schedules, fees, and policies, visit our Product Training page. To register for the class above, complete our registration form and select "Online" for the Training Format.
If you are interested in product training for your company based on your schedule, please contact us to obtain a quote for training between 8-12 attendees. We can come to your facility or the lectures can be presented online. Descriptions of the available classes can be found in our course catalog.
To keep up with our training opportunities, take a look at our new Events and Training Calendar.