American Society of Civil Engineers


Multi-Physics Modeling and Simulations of Rocket Plume Induced Lunar/Martian Soil Erosion and Debris Environment


by A. Tosh, (Principal Engineer, Aerospace & Defense, CFD Research Corporation, 215 Wynn Drive, Suite 501, Huntsville, AL 35805 E-mail: at@cfdrc.com), P. A. Liever, (Technical Fellow, Aerospace & Defense, CFD Research Corporation, 215 Wynn Drive, Suite 501, Huntsville, AL 35805 E-mail: pal@cfdrc.com), S. D. Habchi, (Executive Vice President, Aerospace & Defense, CFD Research Corporation, 215 Wynn Drive, Suite 501, Huntsville, AL 35805 E-mail: sdh@cfdrc.com), J. S. Curtis, (Professor, Chemical Engineering Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-6005 E-mail: jcurtis@che.ufl.edu), and C. LaMarche, Ph.D., (Student, Chemical Engineering Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-6005 E-mail: casey.lamarche@gmail.com)
Section: Symposium 1: 5th NASA/ASCE Workshop on Granular Materials in Lunar and Martian Exploration, pp. 199-207, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/9780784412190.023)

     Access full text
     Purchase Subscription
     Permissions for Reuse  

Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Earth and Space 2012: Engineering, Science, Construction, and Operations in Challenging Environments
Abstract: The traditional methods of Lunar/Martian rocket plume-dust simulation lack essential physics and feasibility for realistic application. The challenges arise from plume impingement flow in extra-terrestrial environment and peculiar granular behavior of irregular regolith. This paper presents significant improvement in the physics of plume-surface interaction, soil erosion and debris release through Eulerian multiphase modeling. In this approach, the rocket exhaust gas and regolith phases are coupled with inter-phase momentum and energy exchanges. Appropriate new formulations of granular flow kinetics are developed for poly-dispersed, irregular particles. The surface stresses for plume scouring and regolith roughness are refined by appropriate turbulence modeling. The numerics are built upon high-performance, adaptive mesh refinement architectures. Validation studies and applications will include cratering experiments with sand, Moon/Mars regolith simulants, reduced gravity effects and various Moon/Mars landing scenarios. This tool will provide a basis for deeper understanding of extra-terrestrial debris impact and mitigation measures for future space exploration systems.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Simulation
Plumes
Mars
Space exploration