(442aa) Development and Validation of a Numerical Simulation Tool for Rocket Exhaust Impingement upon a Regolith Soil Bed

Authors: 
Curtis, J. S., University of Florida
Guo, Y., Zhejiang University

NASA has a goal to send a man to Mars sometime in the 2030s. This mission requires the touchdown and take-off of a lander on the surface of Mars. Answering questions about the impact of an impinging jet on a regolith soil bed is important for reducing the risks the landers face. Unfortunately, experimental data are challenging to obtain due to the change in gravity and low-pressure conditions found on Mars that are difficult to recreate on Earth. Therefore, advanced modeling and computer simulations offer an opportunity to answer questions about landing on Mars that weren’t possible to answer beforehand. The proposed work seeks to create an Eulerian-Eulerian multiphase code with non-spherical particle models and computational enhancements not seen in currently available codes. With the collaboration of CFDRC (Huntsville, AL), the foundation of the code is currently undergoing validation. Further work requires the development of a non-spherical granular model that can be embedded within the code. Cratering experiments performed at UF will be used as benchmark data for code validation. Upon project completion, NASA will have a tool that is able to simulate jet impaction on particle beds under conditions not experimentally possible on Earth.