Advancements in satellite technologies are increasing the power density of electronics and payloads. When the power consumption increases within a limited volume, waste heat generation also increases and this necessitates a proper and efficient thermal management system. Mostly, micro and nanosatellites use passive thermal control methods because of the low cost, no additional power requirement, ease of implementation, and better thermal performance. Passive methods lack the ability to meet certain thermal requirements on larger and smaller satellite platforms.
Thermal analysis is typically performed using a point design approach, where a single model is analyzed one analysis case at a time. Changes to the system design are analyzed by updating the thermal radiation and conduction models by hand, which can become a bottleneck when attempting to adopt a concurrent engineering approach. This paper presents the parametric modeling features that have been added to Thermal DesktopTM to support concurrent engineering. The thermal model may now be characterized by a set of design variables that are easily modified to reflect system level design changes.