Enhancement of Ray Tracing Method for Radiative Heat Transfer: Application to EUI Space Instrument
The finite method (FEM) is widely used in mechanical engineering, in particular for space structure design. However, FEM is not yet often used for thermal engineering of space structures where the lumped parameter method is still dominant. Radiative exchange factors (REFs), used to calculate radiative thermal exchanges in space, are usually computed through Monte Carlo ray tracing. Due to the large number of elements composing a FE model, the computation of the REFs is prohibitively expensive. The isocell method aims at reducing the computational effort of the REFs with FEM, by decreasing the number of rays required to achieve a given accuracy. Based on Nusselt’s analogy, the ray direction sampling is carried out by sampling the unit disc to derive the ray directions. The isocell method is a special case of stratified sampling. It divides the unit disc into cells of almost same area and shape from which random points are generated. This enhances the uniformity of the ray directions and leads to faster convergence. This isocell method is associated with different surface sampling to derive the REFs. The method is benchmarked against ESARAD, the standard thermal analysis ray tracing engine used in the European aerospace industry. One entrance baffle of the Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) instrument developed at the Centre Spatial de Li`ege in Belgium is used as benchmarking case. Solar Orbiter is an European Space Agency mission to be launched in a Sun-centered 0.28 perihelion orbit.