Preliminary analysis of the MER magnetic properties experiment using a computational fluid dynamics model

K.M. Kinch, J.P. Merrison, H.P. Gunnlaugsson, P. Bertelsen, M.B. Madsen, P. Nornberg

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Motivated by questions raised by the magnetic properties experiments on the NASA Mars Pathfinder and Mars Exploration Rover (MER) missions, we have studied in detail the capture of airborne magnetic dust by permanent magnets using a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model supported by laboratory simulations. The magnets studied are identical to the capture magnet and filter magnet on MER, though results are more generally applicable. The dust capture process is found to be dependent upon wind speed, dust magnetization, dust grain size and dust grain mass density. Here we develop an understanding of how these parameters affect dust capture rates and patterns on the magnets and set bounds for these parameters based on MER data and results from the numerical model. This results in a consistent picture of the dust as containing varying amounts of at least two separate components with different physical properties.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Volume54
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)28-44
ISSN0032-0633
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Keywords

  • computational fluid dynamics
  • wind
  • magnets
  • dust
  • Mars

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