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Solar Radiation Direction + time schedule?

Question asked by Charles H on Jul 17, 2012

Hi, fellow SolidWorks Simulation users, I'm currently running through some of the thermal capabilities of SolidWorks Simulation (we have a Premium license). I'm wondering: Can an external radiation environment be effectively constructed in SolidWorks?


I mean: Could one build a satellite that has scheduled sun, planetary reflection, and planetary IR effects? Is SolidWorks capable of this ability? I'm envisioning converting orbital data into solar direction + intensity as an external thing, perhaps something that changes with a table, so I can run a transitional thermal study that takes into account for being within the shadow of a planet, and, perhaps, receiving lots of thermal infrared from a planet, which also changes direction depending on the orientation of the satellite.  I could not find much information about this in the help files, as all the radiation scenarios I could find involved being emitted from specific objects, when I want radiation emitted roughly parallel.


A more fundamental question: How does the thermal analysis capability of SolidWorks compare to AutoCAD/Thermal Desktop/SINDA, especially in the context of satellite modeling? I haven't been able to find anything online regarding this. I'm hoping that it can be done in SolidWorks, just because the satellites themselves are already modeled in SolidWorks, and the AutoCAD/Thermal Desktop/SINDA interface is incredibly counter-intuitive, slow, and clunky, with the added problem of ensuring proper part importation from SolidWorks before even being able to run the thermal analysis.