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Finite-element reentry heat-transfer analysis of space shuttle OrbiterA structural performance and resizing (SPAR) finite-element thermal analysis computer program was used in the heat-transfer analysis of the space shuttle orbiter subjected to reentry aerodynamic heating. Three wing cross sections and one midfuselage cross section were selected for the thermal analysis. The predicted thermal protection system temperatures were found to agree well with flight-measured temperatures. The calculated aluminum structural temperatures also agreed reasonably well with the flight data from reentry to touchdown. The effects of internal radiation and of internal convection were found to be significant. The SPAR finite-element solutions agreed reasonably well with those obtained from the conventional finite-difference method.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Publication (TP)
Ko, William L.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Quinn, Robert D.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Gong, Leslie
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 5, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 1986
Subject Category
Fluid Mechanics And Heat Transfer
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.60:2657
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 506-53-51
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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