Integrating Aeroheating and TPS into Conceptual RLV Design

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Cowart, Karl K.
Olds, John R.
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The purpose of this study is to develop the Thermal Calculation Analysis Tool (TCAT) that will enable Aeroheating and Thermal Protection System (TPS) sizing to be, an on-line, automated process. This process is described as dynamic on-line TPS sizing. It enables the assumptions made about the vehicle TPS to be updated through out the iteration-process. This method is faster and more accurate than a static offline process where the assumptions of the vehicle TPS are held constant during the vehicle design procedure. TCAT will work in conjunction with other engineering disciplines in a Design Structure Matrix (DSM). The unsteady, one dimensional heat diffusion equation was discretized, and resulted in a tridiagonal system of non-linear algebraic equations. This system was implicitly solved using the iterative Newton-Raphson technique at each time level. This technique was conducted for both steady-state and transient conditions that predicted the temperature profiles, and in-depth conduction histories for several TPS material test cases. Also, this was performed on several disparate TPS materials layered together at one time. Finally; comparative benchmark solutions of the TCAT transient analyses were conducted using the commercial software code SINDA/G. Results show that TCAT performed as predicted, and will satisfy the requirement of lowering the amount of time required to conduct TPS sizing for a reusable launch vehicle. Future work will consist of adding temperature dependent material properties to TCAT, coupling TCAT to an optimizer, and creating a web-interface that will enable cross-platform operation of TCAT.
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