HSL Seminar - Daniel Pekka Poe (Tuesday, 4/6, 4-5p)

Aerodynamics and Impact Simulation​ of an Air-Dropped Ice Penetrator


Daniel Pekka Poe, HSL Graduate Student


In order to investigate movement of the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica, an air-dropped ice penetrator will be employed. Dropping a seismic probe from a helicopter offers several advantages over sending out a conventional crewed mission, such as reduced transit time and access to hard-to-reach locations. However, a new set of problems to be solved arise. The penetrator must fall fast enough to guarantee rigid coupling to the ice shelf, but slow enough to avoid damaging internal components. Aerodynamic analysis is used to select a penetrator geometry, and detailed simulations of the impact reveal the forces involved.