Parametric study of water vapor and water ice particle plumes based on DSMC calculations: Application to the Enceladus geysers
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The field parameters – number density, velocity components and temperature – for the Enceladus geysers, and possibly similar jets from other bodies, such as Europa, Ceres or comets, are expensive to obtain using physically correct simulation methods, such as the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) approach. It would be very useful to be able to correctly reproduce all the different states that the flow is undergoing while expanding into vacuum, from a high density and collisional state near the surface to free-molecular and collisionless at high altitude without resorting to expensive DSMC simulations in every case. In this work, we consider a two-phase water vapor/grain mixture exiting a circular vent, assuming a uniform radius of the water ice grains, and study how the field parameters can be fitted at an altitude of 10 km, where the flow is collisionless. To do so, we define simple functional forms for each of these fitted parameters, and we study how their coefficients vary as a function of the vent exit parameters, i.e. the vent radius, the water mixture mass flow, the water vapor/water ice mass ratio, the water ice grain radius, the water vapor and water ice exit speed, the vent exit angle and flow temperature. We define polynomial approximations to model these variations. We show that all the vent parameters have nearly-independent influences on the radial profiles at 10 km, except for the water vapor and water ice exit speed, for which we considered cross-correlations. We finally show that the geyser field parameters can be reconstructed using our parametric study for variations of the vent parameters within the range considered here, and in a time frame of a few milliseconds. The results of the parametrizations presented in this study can now be used to propagate the geyser field parameters using computationally inexpensive free molecular/ballistic codes up to higher altitudes. The DSMC results that have been run for this paper are available at an online repository.
CitationMahieux, A.; Goldstein, D.B.; Varghese, P.L.; Trafton, L.M. (2019). Parametric study of water vapor and water ice particle plumes based on DSMC calculations: Application to the Enceladus geysers. , Icarus, Vol. 319, 729-744, DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2018.10.022.