I³MS - Kowalski Seminar

Location: Room 115, AICES, Rogowski

Dr. Julia Kowalski - A Multiscale Thermal Contact Model for Ice Exploration Technologies

Graduiertenschule AICES, RWTH Aachen University


The icy bodies of our Solar System, e.g. Jovian moon Europa or Saturnian moon Enceladus are prime targets to search for extraterrestrial life. In view of next generation exploration missions various innovative exploration technologies for autonomous motion through ice have been proposed, most of which rely on melting. This also requires advanced simulation technologies tailored to assess, evaluate and predict the dynamic range of the proposed melting systems. A modeling framework for melting into ice at environmental conditions found on the icy moons does not exist so far. Preliminary steps on our way of developing such a framework will be the content of this presentation. Starting from existing thermal contact theory we will introduce a multiscale, multiphase model capable of capturing processes in the microscale melt film, beyond the phase interface in the solid ice, and along the melting channel where refreezing has to be taken into account. Relevant scales and regimes of the model will be discussed based on representative pressure and temperature conditions. Prior knowledge on the exerted force and torque is translated into a model closure and allows the calculation of curvilinear melting trajectories. In order to solve for melting velocity and curvature of the melting path we present both an inverse solution strategy for the analytical model, and a more general numerical solution strategy for complicated geometries. Computational results are discussed and compared to experimental data.