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research-article

A Simplified Thermal Model and Comparison Analysis for a Stratospheric Lighter-Than-Air Vehicle

[+] Author and Article Information
Wei Zheng

Qian Xuesen Laboratory of Space Technology, China Academy of Space Technology, P. O. Box 5142-221, Beijing 100094, China
zhengwei@qxslab.cn

Xiangyi Zhang

Qian Xuesen Laboratory of Space Technology, China Academy of Space Technology, P. O. Box 5142-221, Beijing 100094, China
zhangxiangyi@qxslab.cn

Rong Ma

Qian Xuesen Laboratory of Space Technology, China Academy of Space Technology, P. O. Box 5142-221, Beijing 100094, China
marong@qxslab.cn

Yong Li

Qian Xuesen Laboratory of Space Technology, China Academy of Space Technology, P. O. Box 5142-221, Beijing 100094, China
liyong@qxslab.cn

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4037194 History: Received June 21, 2016; Revised June 19, 2017

Abstract

Transient thermal behavior modeling and computation is a key issue in predicting flight performance of a stratospheric lighter-than-air (LTA) vehicle, such as an airship or balloon. To reduce computational load of the numerical thermal transient model without significant loss of accuracy, firstly this paper adopted an analytical model of view factor from the element surface to the earth, and constructed a full distributed parameter transient thermal model. Then the full model was validated by comparing simulation output data with flight experimental data. The results show that the difference between simulation and experimental data is less than 2.4%. Furthermore, considering that the effect of the net radiation heat transfer among the hull inner surface enclosure on average inner gas temperature is far less than the hull outer surface, the full model was simplified by omitting radiant heat exchange within the inner surface enclosure. The model discrepancy was investigated by comparing the simulation results of average inner gas temperature and skin temperature distribution between the two models under various conditions, such as operating time, altitude, different exterior skin thermal properties. The comparison results indicate that the simplified model agreed well with the full model. A maximum deviation is about 0.3% for the average inner gas temperature in most conditions, and the difference of temperature distribution of the surface between the two models is also allowable when the LTA vehicle, especially with low absorptivity/emissivity ratio coatings, operates at about 20km altitude.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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