Casey LaMarche

Casey LaMarche

Casey LaMarche

Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, University of Florida

Chemical Engineering, Bachelor of Science, University of Delaware, 2007

Mathematics and Women Studies, Minor, University of Delaware, 2007

E-mail : clamarche@ufl.edu
Address : 216 Chemical Engineering Building
University of Florida, USA

Debris transport due to rocket plume impingement onto lunar soil can cause significant damage to spacecraft and other surrounding equipment during lunar landing operations. Hence, the liberation of dusty lunar soil is potentially the highest risk facing lunar exploration system architectures. In order to mitigate this problem, we are developing a continuum-based, two-phase flow simulation model, in collaboration with CFD Research Corporation, to predict the severity and range of dust and debris transport and to design debris impact mitigation strategies. Specifically, one current area of focus is the improvement of lunar soil models which is key to accurate prediction of cratering and particle liberation.

The framework of the two-phase continuum model has been developed and validated with experimental data performed by Metzger et al. (2009) on beach sand. The experiments are performed by impinging a jet of gas on to a bed of particles. The impinging jet produces a crater and during the experiment the evolution of the crater over time is recorded and measured. We have performed similar experiments on a lunar soil simulant which will provide validation data for the model with granular materials that were created to match the geophysical properties of lunar soil. We have also performed experiments in lunar gravity on the NASA FAST flight which provides experiments in relevant physical conditions. We are currently performing a study on the effect of particle properties on crater evolution. All of these experiments will be used for model validation as well as for probing the fundamental effects of crater evolution.

Metzger, P. T., Immer, C.D., Donahue, C. M., Vu, B. T., Latta III, R. C., Deyo-Svendsen, M., 2009. Jet-induced cratering of a granular surface with application to Lunar spaceports. Journal of Aerospace Engineering. 22, 24-32.