GEOFLOW: simulation of convection in a spherical shell under central force field
1Department of Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics, Brandenburg University of Technology, Siemens-Halske-Ring 14, 03046 Cottbus, Germany
*now at: Max-Planck-Institut, Dresden, Germany
Abstract. Time-dependent dynamical simulations related to convective motion in a spherical gap under a central force field due to the dielectrophoretic effect are discussed. This work is part of the preparation of the GEOFLOW-experiment which is planned to run in a microgravity environment. The goal of this experiment is the simulation of large-scale convective motion in a geophysical or astrophysical framework. This problem is new because of, on the one hand, the nature of the force field (dielectrophoretic effect) and, on another hand, the high degree of symmetries of the system, e.g. the top-bottom reflection. Thus, the validation of this simulation with well-known results is not possible. The questions concerning the influence of the dielectrophoretic force and the possibility to reproduce the theoretically expected motions in the astrophysical framework, are open. In the first part, we study the system in terrestrial conditions: the unidirectional Earth's force is superimposed on the central dielectrophoretic force field to compare with the laboratory experiments during the development of the equipment. In the second part, the GEOFLOW-experiment simulations in weightless conditions are compared with theoretical studies in the astrophysical framework's, in the first instance a fluid under a self-gravitating force field. We present complex time-dependent dynamics, where the dielectrophoretic force field causes significant differences in the flow compared to the case that does not involve this force field.
Beltrame, P., Travnikov, V., Gellert, M., and Egbers, C.: GEOFLOW: simulation of convection in a spherical shell under central force field, Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 13, 413-423, doi:10.5194/npg-13-413-2006, 2006.