University of Texas-Austin

University of Texas at Austin simulates thermo-nuclear radiation using Patran Thermal

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The University of Texas at Austin has used MSC Patran to verify the design of a prototype hot calibration source for an Electron Cyclotron Emission (ECE) diagnostic system to be used on the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) ( The ECE diagnostic system provides information on the spatial variation of the plasma electron temperature.

A prototype hot source operable in air has been developed. To investigate the surface emissivity and spatial temperature uniformity of the hot calibration source, a realistic 3D finite-element thermal model of a silicon carbide hot source prototype, with a specially-shaped emitting surface that includes over 200 pyramids, has been constructed using MSC Patran.

The prototype calibration source was heated by a hot plate maintained at 500°C. The hot source was allowed to be cooled by natural convection and radiation to an ambient temperature of 20°C. The microwave emissivity and steady-state temperature distribution of the hot source were measured using a calibrated Michelson radiometer and a calibrated infra-red camera. The temperature distribution predicted by MSC Patran thermal module matched well with the measured temperature data.