Frequently Asked Questions

Why won’t TASverter run?

  • On Windows:

    Older versions of TASverter could not be run if the path to the executable had a space in the name, and users were advised to install somewhere else, e.g.C:TASverter. This problem should now be solved,

  • On Linux:

    The TASverter executable unpacks itself into a “temp dir” such as /tmp, and TASverter may fail to run if that file system has been mounted as “noexec”. This is being investigated.

Can I import a CAD STEP file?

No, you will not be able to import a CAD STEP file into TASverter.

The word “STEP” is used informally to the ISO-10303 suite of standards, which range from low level building blocks up to domain specific application protocols. One of these standards is ISO-10303-21 which defines the format of the “Part 21” file used for exchanging models.

CAD systems typically use of the CAD-specific applications protocols such as AP203, AP214 and AP242, and their “Part 21” files contain entities that are specific to those protocols.

STEP-TAS is a completely different application protocol, written specifically for Thermal Analysis for Space, and as a result the “Part 21” files contain entities that are specific to the space thermal analysis domain.

TASverter doesn’t understand STEP files written by CAD tools, in the same way that CAD tools don’t understand STEP-TAS files.

Can I convert a GMM to a TMM?

No. TASverter can only convert a geometry model to another geometry model, or a network model to another network model.

TASverter is a tool for data exchange only. It is not a space thermal analysis tool, and is not designed to do the calculation stages that take a geometry model, compute fluxes and couplings, and create a network model.

Can I read an old STEP-TAS file?

It depends on what you mean by “old”.

If you have an old STEP-TAS file from before TASverter-2013-06-30, or from ancient prototype STEP-TAS interfaces in the thermal tools, the chances are that it relates to an older version of the protocol, which is not compatible with the current version. In this case, the answer is NO.

If the STEP-TAS file came from more recent versions of TASverter, then probably YES.

If the STEP-TAS file came from ESATAN-TMS 2020 or older, or from THERMICA-4.9.0 or older, then the answer is MAYBE. You will be able to read the file, but you will need to verify that all of the entities have been handled correctly. There were known issues with: node numbering of shells with conductive surfaces; how cutting shells are interpreted, etc.

Can I use STEP-TAS to exchange models?

Yes you can. This is the ultimate goal of the STEP-TAS development.

Be aware, however, that the STEP-TAS protocol may not support all of the features of a particular tool, and that not all tools can handle all of the primitives supported by the STEP-TAS protocol, or may interpret them in different ways. An example of the first point is that STEP-TAS does not provide an extruded polygon shape whereas some tools do. An example of the third point is that a shell which is inactive on both sides is regarded as “invisible” in ESATAN-TMS, but THERMICA regards it as a “blocker”.

In the short term, however, and certainly until the protocol has been proved to be mature and can be frozen, users should not rely on STEP-TAS as the sole means of long term archive.

What if the STEP-TAS protocol changes?

As mentioned above, STEP-TAS files written using the old prototype interfaces and early versions of the STEP-TAS protocol are no longer supported.

The TASverter development team will need to address the issue of upgrading STEP-TAS files if and when the protocol changes.

Does TASverter handle solids or volumes?

No, TASverter does not handle solid or volume elements because the current STEP-TAS protocol does not support solid or volume geometry, as this was not available in the tools when the protocol was originally developed.

Does TASverter handle cutting operations?

Yes, TASverter does handle cutting operations, but can only “properly” convert a model with cutting if the target tool also supports cutting.

The ESARAD-R5 erg legacy format supports cutting, but the other tools do not, so cutting operations may be converted to “uncut” geometry as placeholders.

Why is the TASverterGUI help missing?

On Linux, it is possible that when the TASverter executable unpacks itself into a “temp dir” such as /tmp and that file system has been mounted as “noexec”, the user’s web browser is unable to load the help pages. This is being investigated.