Prediction of Plume Induced Rock Fracture for Landers

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC18P2153
Agency Tracking Number: 186232
Amount: $124,995.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T9
Solicitation Number: STTR_18_P1
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-08-03
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-08-26
Small Business Information
701 McMillian Way Northwest, Suite D, Huntsville, AL, 35806-2923
DUNS: 185169620
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Ranjan Mehta
 (256) 726-4800
Business Contact
 Silvia Harvey
Phone: (256) 726-4858
Research Institution
 Los Alamos National Laboratory
 P.O. Box 1663
Los Alamos, NM, 00000-0000
 Federally funded R&D center (FFRDC)

The landing surface damage and liberation of debris particles caused by rocket plume impingement flow during spacecraft propulsive landing on unprepared surfaces of Moon, Mars, and other celestial bodies poses a high risk for robotic and human exploration activities.  Simply determining whether the plume induced loads exceed the bedrock bearing capacity threshold is not sufficient. An integrated multi-physics simulation tool is required to capture and quantify the onset, progression and ultimate extent of the bedrock fracture processes and identify the dangers of the resulting debris transport and landing surface destruction. No such simulation capability exists to date. CFDRC has teamed with the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to propose the development of such a simulation tool that combines state-of-the-art computational fluid dynamics software for plume flowfield with a dynamic fracture mechanics structural analysis software of the rock material under plume impingement loads.  The Phase I will focus on demonstrating feasibility of the proposed approach with a TRL of 2 to 3.  In Phase II the models will be extended and validated to provide an accurate numerical approach for simulating plume induced rock fracture, debris transport and analysis tool, increasing the TRL by end of Phase II from 3 to 5. 

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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