Test Facility to Investigate Plume-Regolith Interactions

White, C. , Zare-Behtash, H. , Kontis, K. , Ukai, T., Merrifield, J., Evans, D., Coxhill, I., Langener, T. and Van den Eynde, J. (2019) Test Facility to Investigate Plume-Regolith Interactions. International Conference on Flight Vehicles, Aerothermodynamics and Re-entry Missions and Engineering (FAR 2019), Monopoli, Italy, 30 Sept - 3 Oct 2019.

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For both sample return and insitu-analysis missions it is vitally important to understand the physical phenomena related to the propulsion subsystem and terrain interactions during landing of the spacecraft. The plumes of the retrorockets will cause erosion and chemical contamination to the celestial body’s surface which will affect the landing manoeuvres and measurements of the regolith in the vicinity of the landing site. Furthermore, the generated regolith dust clouds and the reflected plume flow can affect the spacecraft force and torque balance as well as posing problems for the proximity navigation equipment and sensitive external surfaces. To investigate the interaction between rocket engine plume and regolith at a fundamental level, in support to all planetary and lunar landing environments, such as the Phobos Sample Return mission, a dedicated facility is designed, manufactured, and housed at the University of Glasgow. The results presented will cover the design calculations of the vacuum facility with the added mass flow from pulsating hypersonic nozzles. The methodology behind the specially designed heat exchanger operating at different temperatures, pressures, and frequencies representative of the various landing scenarios is also presented. Analysis to determine the most suitable material to act as regolith simulant, due to the variations in Earth’s specific gravity compared to Martian and airless bodies, is also discussed.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:White, Dr Craig and Kontis, Professor Konstantinos and Zare-Behtash, Dr Hossein
Authors: White, C., Zare-Behtash, H., Kontis, K., Ukai, T., Merrifield, J., Evans, D., Coxhill, I., Langener, T., and Van den Eynde, J.
Subjects:Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QC Physics
T Technology > T Technology (General)
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Aerospace Sciences
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