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Using an Intelligent Template to Analyze a Complex Optical System

Posted by Malcolm Panthaki in Simulation Automation (Templates)Posted by Malcolm Panthaki in System Simulation

This NASA Langley case study demonstrates how and why a simulation template was used to aid in the analysis and design of a complex space-borne electro-optical sensor.

Structural-Thermal-Optical-Performance (STOP) Model Development and Analysis of a Field-widened Michelson Interferometer

An integrated Structural-Thermal-Optical-Performance (STOP) model was developed for a field-widened Michelson interferometer which is being built and tested for the High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) project at NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC). The performance of the interferometer is highly sensitive to thermal expansion, changes in refractive index with temperature, temperature gradients, and deformation due to mounting stresses. Hand calculations can only predict system performance for uniform temperature changes. An integrated STOP Simulation Template was developed to automate and investigate the effects of design modifications on the performance of the interferometer in detail, including CTE mismatch, and other three- dimensional effects.

The STOP Template was developed using the Comet SimApp Authoring Workspace which performs automated integration between Pro-Engineer®, Thermal Desktop®, MSC Nastran™, SigFit™, Code V™, and MATLAB®. This is the first flight project for which LaRC has utilized Comet, and it allows a larger trade space to be studied in a shorter time than would be possible in a traditional STOP analysis. This paper describes the development of the STOP Template, presents a comparison of STOP results for simple cases with hand calculations, and presents results of the correlation effort to bench-top testing of the interferometer. A trade study conducted with the STOP model which demonstrates a few simple design changes that can improve the performance seen in the lab is also presented.

This paper was published in the 2014 Conference Proceedings of the SPIE.

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