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Visualization of particle interactions


The remote management of robotic vehicles, such as the Mars rovers, often depends upon simulations of physical processes to enable correct instructions to be transmitted. In particular, the Mars rover wheels frequently were mired in sand, and instructions had to be sent to help the rover extract itself from sand. To address this problem, IGERT trainee Matt Clothier conducted an internship at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2008, and since then has been working to develop physically accurate visualizations of multiple particles and their interactions with one another and with rigid and soft bodies, such as rover wheels. A movie of this visualization is available but the IGERT survey would not permit uploading it as it is an mpg file.

Address Goals

This research in visualization contributes to the Nation’s research capability through critical investments in advanced cyber infrastructure, and experimental tools, by linking physics with visualization displays. The visualizations contribute to fundamental transformational science and engineering, for exploration of space and other areas where robotic vehicles are used.