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AE 590 Seminar: Resonance locking of charged dust in the solar system

Event Type
Department of Aerospace Engineering
Sep 13, 2021   4:00 - 5:00 pm  
Dr. Christoph Lhotka | Associate Researcher, Department of Mathematics, University of Rome Tor Vergata
Courtney McLearin
Originating Calendar
Aerospace Engineering Seminars

Abstract: The distribution of dust in space cannot be understood without accurate models of orbital mechanics. Small size to mass ratios of micron sized particles and charging effects in space plasmas are the cause for several problems in the description of their dynamics. In this context, classical models in Celestial Mechanics fail to predict the orbital motion on long time scales and need to be generalized to cover non-gravitational effects. In this talk I review recent results on the dynamics of charged dust in the heliospheric magnetic field in mean motion resonance with a planet. We cover non gravitational forces stemming from solar radiation, the solar wind, and the interaction with a Parker model for the heliospheric magnetic field. We derive averaged models to describe the orbital dynamics of charged dust in space that are valid on secular time scales. On the basis of numerical simulations, we provide the extent of resonant regimes of motion in phase space for outer and co-orbital resonances for different system parameters, i.e. including different size to mass and charge to mass ratios. The talk will briefly cover different charging mechanisms in space plasmas and provide ideas for potential measurements of dust impact events on spacecraft in outer space. 


Biography: Christoph Lhotka is Associate Researcher with habilitation in Mathematical Physics and is currently working at the Department of Mathematics at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. Born in Vienna - Austria, he obtained his PhD in Astronomy at the University of Vienna and held research and teaching positions at different universities and research facilities located in Austria, Belgium, and Italy. His field of expertise is Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Systems Theory with applications in Space Science, acting as an Associate Editor for Celestial Mechanics & Dynamical Astronomy and as an expert in the evaluation of projects for the European Commission. His publication record includes over 60 papers and a book on the dynamics of celestial bodies in the solar system. Currently, he is working on tidal effects in the Jovian system (JUICE), and the physical properties of charged dust subject to the heliospheric magnetic field within a grant of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

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