Numerical Simulation of Meteorite Thermal and Mechanical Properties
The DLR Institute of Planetary Research carries out and supports research programs on the internal structure, formation and evolution of the planets, their moons, and asteroids and comets. Techniques employed include remote sensing and in-situ investigations using instruments carried on spacecraft, astronomical observations from the ground, theoretical modeling, and laboratory experiments. The study of asteroids and comets is a topic investigated across all departments of the institute, and the current research project will be carried out in collaboration with the Technische Universität Braunschweig as well as the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.
Current space missions to asteroids Ryugu and Bennu as well as the analysis of returned samples have provided valuable data on the mechanical and thermal properties of extraterrestrial material. However, the theoretical understanding of the mechanisms governing their physical behavior are still lacking behind. The goal of the current project is to develop numerical models that can be directly compared to laboratory experiments on analogue materials and meteorites, the latter to be performed by our project partners.
We search for a highly motivated student to support our project. The PhD student will develop discrete element models of asteroid materials and provide a modeling framework that considers the effects of porosity, bonds between particles and cracks to study their influence on thermal and mechanical properties. The numerical models will be compared to mission data as well as the results of laboratory experiments.
You can find more information about the position, the associated tasks, and the application process in the following link: