This suite of computer programs, called “tools,” is used to calculate local flow angles over damage sites in the Shuttle Orbiter Thermal Protection System (TPS). It provides a quick and easy way to compute cross flow angles over points of interest on the Shuttle Orbiter TPS.

Tool 1 is the Tile Gap Filler Cross Flow Tool used for a specific TPS tile or gap filler around the tile, for the CFD (computational fluid dynamics) solution flow field over the tile or gap filler to compute a cross flow angle at that location. Tool 2 is the Cavity Cross Flow Tool for the location of a TPS cavity (damage) for the CFD solution flow field over the cavity to compute a cross flow angle at that location.

Cross flow angles are an important parameter in the analysis of aeroheating on TPS tiles, gap fillers, cavities, etc. This problem was solved before, typically, by manual computation of direction of tiles, gap fillers, cavities, etc., then manual extraction of local flow direction, manual intersection of these directions, and manual computation of the intersection angle.

The invention can be incorporated into an automated algorithm for aeroheating analyses of TPS damage surface detail locations.

This work was done by David Norman, Jr. of The Boeing Co. for Johnson Space Center. For further information, contact the JSC Technology Transfer Office at (281) 483-3809. MSC-24871-1

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the February, 2016 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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