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NAM2012 - All Presentation Details

Record 535 of 756

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Simulating asteroid regoliths in microgravity

Author: Naomi Murdoch

The Open University and UNS, Côte d

Co-Authors: B. Rozitis (The Open University) ; S.F. Green (The Open University) ; P. Michel (UNS, Côte d'Azur Observatory, CNRS); T-L. de Lophem; W. Losert (University of Maryland)

Session: PL1: Small bodies in Our Solar System

Presentation type: Talk      12:05  Tuesday 27th 11:45-13:00 


The dynamics of granular materials are involved in the evolution of solid planets and small bodies in our Solar System, whose surfaces are generally covered with regolith. Understanding granular dynamics is also critical for the design and/or operations of landers, sampling devices and rovers to be included in space missions. We use a microgravity modified Taylor-Couette shear cell to investigate granular flow caused by shear forces under the conditions of parabolic flight microgravity. The aim of the experiment is to characterise the response of granular material to rotational shear forces in a microgravity environment. A particular emphasis has been put on investigating the steady state flow profiles in the different gravitational regimes. It was found that the effect of constant shearing on a granular material in a direction perpendicular to the gravity field does not seem to be strongly influenced by gravity. We have also demonstrated, for the first time, that the efficiency of granular convection may decrease in the presence of a weak gravitational field, similar to that on the surface of small bodies. This may have important implications for our interpretation of asteroid surfaces.

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