Kollmer J, Lindauer SM, Daniels KE (2017)
Publication Language: English
Publication Type: Conference contribution, Conference Contribution
Publication year: 2017
Event location: Orlando, Florida
As NASA prepares to visit asteroids and other poorly-consolidated near-earth-objects
(NEOs), it will be important to safely interact with the granular materials at the surface of
these objects. A particular concern is the low elastic modulus of granular materials: rubblepile
asteroids are only held together by weak gravitational and van der Waals forces. This
means that both the escape velocity and the sound velocity are low compared to their values
on earth. To better predict the dynamics of the granular flows resulting from surface
explorations such as digging, sample-collection, anchoring, or lift-off, we develop
microgravity experiments which are able to predict the circumstances under which the NEO
material will remain intact or become unstable. In our experiments, we insert a flexible probe
into a granular material under simulated conditions of low gravity. We show that low-speed
interactions reduce the effects of shock wave creation and observe that thinner diggers allow
the grains to rearrange and minimize the possibility of ejecta.
Kollmer, J., Lindauer, S.M., & Daniels, K.E. (2017). Digging on Asteroids: a Laboratory Model of Granular Dynamics in Microgravity. In Proceedings of the 15th Biennial ASCE Conference on Engineering. Orlando, Florida.
Kollmer, Jonathan, Scott M. Lindauer, and Karen E. Daniels. "Digging on Asteroids: a Laboratory Model of Granular Dynamics in Microgravity." Proceedings of the 15th Biennial ASCE Conference on Engineering, Orlando, Florida 2017.