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

 

Reacting Flows

Tuesday May 5th, 2pm MT (1pm PT, 4pm ET)

Reacting Flows is a capability that allows FloCAD to simulate fuel reformers, deal with the electrochemistry of flow batteries, predict combustion reactions in gas generations, and work with ionized and dissociated gases.

This webinar will explain how to use a working fluid as a reactant. It will also detail various options for determining reaction rates such as equilibrium, finite rate with stoichiometric coefficients, and percent complete based on inflowing reagents. Example applications are summarized.

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Dissolved Gases

Thursday May 7th, 2pm MT (1pm PT, 4pm ET)

When vapor meets liquid, it can condense. When gas (NCG) meets liquid, it can dissolve. When there is too much gas in the liquid, it can either evolve slowly at a wall or at the surface ... or it can come out explosively.

Whether your interests are environmental control, liquid propulsion, fire retardant delivery, or beer, this webinar offers a rare glimpse into an advanced modeling topic.

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