Dynamic thermal modeling and simulation framework: design of modeling techniques and external integration tools
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In looking to the future of naval warfare, the US Navy has committed itself to development of future classes of an All-Electric Ship (AES) that will incorporate significant technological advancements in the areas of power management, advanced sensor equipment and weaponry, reconfigurability, and survivability systems while simultaneously increasing overall system efficiencies and decreasing the operational costs of the future naval fleet. As part of the consortium responsible for investigating the viability of numerous next-generation technologies, the University of Texas at Austin is dedicated to providing the capabilities and tools to better address thermal management issues aboard the future AES. Research efforts at the University of Texas in Austin have focused on the development of physics-based, dynamic models of components and subsystems that simulate notional future AES, system-level, thermal architectures. This research has resulted in the development of an in-house thermal management tool, known as the Dynamic Thermal Modeling and Simulation (DTMS) Framework. The work presented herein has sought to increase the modeling capabilities of the DTMS Framework and provide valuable tools to aid both developers and users of this simulation environment. Using numerical approximations of complex physical behaviors, the scope of the DTMS Framework has been expanded beyond elements of thermal-fluid behaviors to capture the dynamic, transient nature of far broader, more complex architectures containing interconnected thermal-mechanical-electrical components. Sophisticated interfacial systems have also been developed that allow integration of the DTMS Framework with external software products that improve and enhance the user experience. Developmental tools addressing customizable presentation of simulation data, debugging systems that aid in introduction of new features into the existing framework, and error-reporting mechanisms to ease the process of utilizing the power of the simulation environment have been added to improve the applicability and accessibility of the DTMS Framework. Finally, initial efforts in collaboration with Mississippi State University are presented that provide a graphical user interface for the DTMS Framework and thus provide far more insight into the complex interactions of numerous shipboard systems than would ever be possible using raw numerical data.