Geoflow: First Results from Geophysical Motivated Experiments inside the Fluid Science Laboratory of Columbus
Lothar, Jehring, et al. (2009). "Geoflow: First Results from Geophysical Motivated Experiments inside the Fluid Science Laboratory of Columbus." 47th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including The New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition
Objective of GeoFlow experiment is to study thermally-driven rotating fluids, in order to investigate the stability, pattern formation, and transition to turbulence of viscous incom-pressible fluids contained between concentric, co-axially rotating spheres. These physical mechanisms are important for a large number of astrophysical and geophysical problems showing flows in spherical geometry driven by rotation and convection: for example, to explain the mantle convection of the Earth, or the flow in a planet's interior. The European microgravity experiment GeoFlow, which is executed in the Fluid Science Laboratory (FSL) of Columbus module on the International Space Station (ISS), is an experiment investigating pattern formation and stability of thermal convection in rotating spherical shells under the influence of an artificial central symmetric buoyancy field and eliminated gravity. In this paper we present numerical preliminary studies of this spherical Rayleigh-Bnard problem under a central dielectrophoretic force in microgravity environment and first experimental results from ISS. Numerical simulations are done for a range of parameter values for Rayleigh and Taylor number. For the experiment flow visualization is realized using the Wollaston-shearing method.
DOI: doi:10.2514/6.2009-960 10.2514/6.2009-960