Student-Faculty Programs Office
Summer 2017 Announcements of Opportunity

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Project:  Investigation of Penetrator Impacts on Thermal and Mechanical Granular Properties with Martian Regolith Simulant
Disciplines:  Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
Mentor:  Jose Andrade, Professor, (EAS),, Phone: x4141
Mentor URL:  (opens in new window)
AO Contact:  Jason Marshall,
Background:  The InSight mission launches in 2018 to characterize several geophysical quantities on Mars, including the heat flow from the planetary interior. This quantity will be calculated by utilizing measurements of the thermal conductivity and the thermal gradient down to 5 meters below the Martian surface. One of the components of InSight is the Mole, which hammers into the Martian regolith to facilitate these thermal property measurements. Previous work quasi-statically and dynamically investigated some of the effects of the Mole's penetrating interaction, but for a limited number of regolith conditions.
Description:  This project will focus on a second set of experiments to investigate the Mole's effect on granular properties subject to different regolith initial conditions. These conditions will include varying the density, particle size distribution, overburden pressure, and penetration profile. High speed imaging will be used in conjunction with Digital Image Correlation methods to provide the deformation patterns from penetration.
Student Requirements:  Experience with mechanical equipment, cameras, and experimental methods
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    both Caltech and non-Caltech students 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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Problems with or questions about submitting an AO?  Call Jen Manglos of the Student-Faculty Programs Office at (626) 395-2885.
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