Microgravity experiments on the collisional behavior of saturnian ring particles

Daniel Heißelmann, Jürgen Blum, Helen J. Fraser, Kristin Wolling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper we present results of two novel experimental methods to investigate the collisional behavior of individual macroscopic icy bodies. The experiments reported here were conducted in the microgravity environments of parabolic flights and the Bremen drop tower facility. Using a cryogenic parabolic-flight setup, we were able to capture 41 near-central collisions of 1.5-cm-sized ice spheres at relative velocities between 6 and . The analysis of the image sequences provides a uniform distribution of coefficients of restitution with a mean value of and values ranging from ε=0.06 to 0.84. Additionally, we designed a prototype drop-tower experiment for collisions within an ensemble of up to one hundred cm-sized projectiles and performed the first experiments with solid glass beads. We were able to statistically analyze the development of the kinetic energy of the entire system, which can be well explained by assuming a granular 'fluid' following Haff's law with a constant coefficient of restitution of ε=0.64. We could also show that the setup is suitable for studying collisions at velocities of <5 mm s−1 appropriate for collisions between particles in Saturn's dense main rings.
LanguageEnglish
Pages424-430
Number of pages7
JournalIcarus
Volume206
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010

Fingerprint

microgravity
collision
parabolic flight
drop towers
collisions
rings
experiment
flight
Saturn
coefficients
beads
kinetic energy
cryogenics
projectiles
ice
glass
prototypes
fluid
particle
fluids

Keywords

  • planetary rings
  • ices
  • collisional physics
  • Saturn rings

Cite this

Heißelmann, Daniel ; Blum, Jürgen ; Fraser, Helen J. ; Wolling, Kristin. / Microgravity experiments on the collisional behavior of saturnian ring particles. In: Icarus. 2010 ; Vol. 206, No. 2. pp. 424-430.
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Heißelmann, D, Blum, J, Fraser, HJ & Wolling, K 2010, 'Microgravity experiments on the collisional behavior of saturnian ring particles' Icarus, vol. 206, no. 2, pp. 424-430. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2009.08.009

Microgravity experiments on the collisional behavior of saturnian ring particles. / Heißelmann, Daniel; Blum, Jürgen; Fraser, Helen J.; Wolling, Kristin.

In: Icarus, Vol. 206, No. 2, 04.2010, p. 424-430.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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