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anders_feder February 21, 2009 14:00

Hello, I'm a volunteer with

I'm a volunteer with Team FREDNET, the only Open Source contestant in the Google Lunar X PRIZE competition to land a robotic rover on the surface of the Moon.

I'm considering the use of open source CFD such as OpenFOAM for development of our mission. Can you kindly tell me if you think there may be any applications for this software on such a mission?

Some of the possible applications that I can think of (but is not sure of) includes:
Modeling of exhaust plume interaction with the lunar surface?
Modeling of soil mechanics for rover mobility?
Modeling of lunar dust dynamics?
Thermodynamics / thermal management modeling?

What do you think? Would software like OpenFOAM be of use for any of the above or similar applications?

Any help greatly appreciated.

Best regards,
Anders Feder
Team FREDNET Volunteer

mike_jaworski February 21, 2009 18:26

Hi Anders and welcome to OpenF
Hi Anders and welcome to OpenFOAM.

The beauty of OpenFOAM is that new solvers can be created to provide solutions to most, if not all, problems you can dream up. As long as you know what the basic PDEs are, any physical models that you want to use in addition to those PDEs, and a bit of know-how with computational modeling, OpenFOAM will likely provide a solution to you.

The drawback of OpenFOAM is that new solvers must be created to provide solutions to new problems. You need to know the basic PDEs, any relevant physical models and be competent at computational modeling. Otherwise, it might be difficult to put confidence in the output of the program.

I'd suggest that you examine the list of existing solvers to get an idea of what portions of each might be needed to create a solution to your specific problems.

Good luck!

Mike J.

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