Fluid physics in a fluctuating acceleration environment

J. Ross Thomson, Francois Drolet, Jorge Vinals

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We summarize several aspects of an ongoing investigation of the effects that stochastic residual accelerations (g-jitter) onboard spacecraft can have on experiments conducted in a microgravity environment. The residual acceleration field is modeled as a narrow band noise, characterized by three independent parameters: intensity 〈g2〉, dominant angular frequency Ω, and characteristic correlation time τ. Realistic values for these parameters are obtained from an analysis of acceleration data corresponding to the SL-J mission, as recorded by the SAMS instruments. We then use the model to address the random motion of a solid particle suspended in an incompressible fluid subjected to such random accelerations. As an extension, the effect of g-jitter on coarsening of a solid-liquid mixture is briefly discussed, and corrections to diffusion controlled coarsening evaluated. We conclude that g-jitter will not be significant in the experiment 'Coarsening of solid-liquid mixtures' to be conducted in microgravity. Finally, modifications to the location of onset of instability in systems driven by a random force are discussed by extending the standard reduction to the center manifold to the stochastic case. Results pertaining to time-modulated oscillatory convection are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-434
Number of pages6
JournalNASA Conference Publication
Issue number3338
StatePublished - 1996
EventProceedings of the 1996 3rd Microgravity Fluid Physics Conference - Cleveland, OH, USA
Duration: Jul 13 1996Jul 15 1996


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