Master Thesis by Lars von Moos – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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Master Thesis by Lars von Moos

Modeling and simulation of martian dust capture on the sweep magnet

by Lars von Moos

Abstract:
Mars has for many years been of major interest due to its Earth-like properties and near proximity. It has been investigated through several space missions in the last 40 years in a search for basic knowledge of the planet itself and extraterrestrial organic life.
A part of these investigations relate to the magnetic properties of dust particles, ever present in the martian atmosphere. Dust plays a central role in the global weather dynamics on Mars and the elemental composition can give clues about the history of the planet. To investigate the magnetic properties, permanent magnets have been sent to Mars on several missions.

This thesis revolves around one of these magnets, the sweep magnet. The sweep magnet has the property of keeping the central part of its surface clean from magnetic material. This can be used to determine whether all atmospheric dust is magnetic to some degree.
To investigate how dust interacts with the magnet, a model is set up to describe the motion of particles under the influence of magnetic, gravitational and drag forces. Through computer simulations it is investigated how wind speed, dust size and the degree of dust magnetization changes the dust capture process and under which conditions dust can land in the central sweep area. The results are compared with wind tunnel experiments.

This presentation will give a general overview of the work done in this thesis and what the main results are.

The presentation will be done in Danish

Supervisors: Morten Bo Madsen, Niels Bohr Institute and Kjartan M. Kinch, DMI