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Symposium 1

Granular Materials in Space Exploration

Co-Chairs: Philip Metzger, Ph.D., University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL; and Juan Agui, Ph.D., NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH

This symposium will focus on the science and engineering of granular materials in space exploration. When we visit a planetary body, we land on granular materials, drive on them, dig in them, extract resources from them, build with them, and study them for science. Because granular materials can rearrange on a mesoscopic scale, their emergent behaviors are difficult to predict and are the subject of intensive research by physicists, engineers, geologists, and other disciplines. Research includes experiments, computer modeling, and collection of data from planetary missions. Technologies are being developed to study granular materials on the Moon, Mars, asteroids, and beyond. Sessions in this symposium will focus on lunar regolith and dust, asteroid regolith, soil mechanics, granular flow, rocket exhaust interactions with regolith, and anything that requires or supports our understanding of granular materials in space.

List of Presentations

  • The Effects of Mineral Abundances on Mechanical & Structural Properties of Sintered Hawaiian Basalt Aggregate: Implications for Lunar/Mars ISRU Applications -  Author: Kyla Edison, Geology and Material Science Technician, PISCES Hawaii
  • Dust Exposure Tests on a Pump for Martian Atmospheric Acquisition - Author: Juan Agui, Aerospace Technologist, NASA
  • Developing a Standard Method to Test Rheology of Regolith Simulants - Author: Makayla Peppin, Undergraduate Researcher, University of Central Florida
  • The Stinger: A Geotechnical Sensing Package for Robotic Scouting on a Small Planetary Rover - Author: Zach Mank, Engineering Manager, Honeybee Robotics
  • Horizontal-to-Vertical Spectral Ratio (HVSR) Analysis of the Martian Passive Seismic Data from the InSight Mission - Author: Siavash Mahvelati,Ph.D,  Project Engineer, Vibra-Tech Engineers
  • Apollo Seismic Data Interpretation Using an Elastodynamic Space-Time Spectral Element Technique and Dispersion Image Inversion Method - Author: Hongwei Liu,MSc, Ph.D. Student, The University of Manitoba
  • Modelling the Flow Characteristics of Granular Materials Under Low Gravity Environments Using Discrete Element Method - Author: S. Joseph Antony, Ph.D., FRSC, Associate Professor, University of Leeds
  • Low-Gravity Size-Sorting, Conveying, Storage and Delivery of Regolith for ISRU - Author: Otis Walton, President, Grainflow Dynamics, Inc
  • Investigation into Measuring Low Levels of Cohesion of Regolith Simulates - Author: Robert Worley, Graduate Research Assistant, The University of Vermont Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Geotechnical Review of Existing Mars Soil Simulants for Surface Mobility - Author: Heather Oravec, Ph.D, Research Associate Professor, The University of Akron
  • Assessment of the Geo-Mechanical Properties of Lunar Simulant Soils - Author: Timothy Newson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Western University
  • Sporobolus Airoides as a Pioneer Plant for Lunar Regolith - Author: Christopher Rickard, Student, Saint Martin's University
  • Gas-Particle Flow Simulations for Martian and Lunar Lander Plume-Surface Interaction Prediction - Author: Peter Liever, P.E., Technical Fellow, CFD Research Corporation
  • Modeling of Lunar Dust Particle Trajectories for Rocket Plume-Surface Impingement Studies - Author: James Mantovani, Ph.D., Physicist, NASA Kennedy Space Center
  • Granular Flow Modeling of Robot-Terrain Interactions in Reduced Gravity - Author: Amin Haeri, Ph.D. Student, Concordia University
  • Air Evacuation from a Lunar Soil in a Vacuum Chamber - Author: Taeil Chung, Research Specialist, KICT
  • Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Compressive and Tensile Strength of Ice, Frozen Sand and Frozen Lunar Regolith - Author: Byung-Hyun Ryu, Research Specialist, Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology

Particulate Processes Under Low Gravity Environments Granular Mechanics

Session Organizers: S. Joseph Antony, Ph.D, FRSC, University of Leeds, UK;  and Otis Walton, Ph.D, Grainflow Dynamics, Inc., Livermore, CA

Low/micro-gravity environments strongly affect the selection of optimal processing, storage, and transport configurations of particulate materials, for example, in the design of the granular sample preparation and distribution systems (SPDS) of spacecrafts used in Lunar and Martian space exploration activities, and later for In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) activities. This special session deals with the fundamental and applied research related to all aspects of processing particulate materials under low/micro-gravity environments including, but not limited to, the following: granular flows, fluidization regimes of particles, links between single-particle scale properties and bulk strength characteristics, working principles of, or replacements for: bins, hoppers, chutes, vibrating sieves, vertical fluidized beds, as well as scaling rules for mechanical or pneumatic conveying, and other solids-handling devices under reduced gravity environments.

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