A continuing effort to develop a comprehensive capability for thermal-structural analysis and automated design (sizing) is reviewed. A principal role in the activity is played by the finite element program SPAR which contains both an efficient structural and thermal analysis capability. The benefit of having thermal and structural analyses in the same finite element program is illustrated by the application of SPAR to design calculations for the National Transonic Facility - a cryogenic wind tunnel under construction at Langley. Some experience with large-scale thermal structural analysis problems, particularly the space shuttle orbiter, has led to the identification of some analysis needs. Those needs include automated model generation and data output for lumped parameter thermal analysis, faster solution methods for nonlinear transient heat transfer, automated interpolation of temperature data from a thermal finite element model to a dissimilar structural finite model, and automated techniques to identify the times at which the critical combinations of transient heating and loads occur on a structure.
Recent Advan. in Structures for Hypersonic Flight, Pt.2; p 897-941