Far Field Deposition Of Scoured Regolith Resulting From Lunar Landings
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As a lunar lander approaches a dusty surface, the plume from the descent engine impinges on the ground, entraining loose regolith into a high velocity dust spray. Without the inhibition of a background atmosphere, the entrained regolith can travel many kilometers from the landing site. In this work, we simulate the flow field from the throat of the descent engine nozzle to where the dust grains impact the surface many kilometers away. The near field is either continuum or marginally rarefied and is simulated via a loosely coupled hybrid DSMC - Navier Stokes (DPLR) solver. Regions of two-phase and polydisperse granular flows are solved via DSMC. The far field deposition is obtained by using a staged calculation, where the first stages are in the near field where the flow is quasi-steady and the outer stages are unsteady. A realistic landing trajectory is approximated by a set of discrete hovering altitudes which range from 20m to 3m. The dust and gas motions are fully coupled using an interaction model that conserves mass, momentum, and energy statistically and inelastic collisions between dust particles are also accounted for. Simulations of a 4 engine configuration are also examined, and the erosion rates as well as near field particle fluxes are discussed.