Planetary Aeolian Laboratory (PAL)

  • Williams, David, (PI)

Project: Research project

Description

The Planetary Aeolian Facility operates wind tunnels at the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California and on the Tempe campus of Arizona State University. Founded by ASU Regents Professor Ronald Greeley (1939-2011) and NASA in 1976, PAL facilities are used for conducting experiments and simulations of aeolian processes (windblown particles) under different planetary atmospheric environments, including Earth, Mars, and Saturns moon Titan. The PAL includes one of the nations largest pressure chambers for conducting low-pressure research. PAL enables scientific research into aeolian processes under controlled laboratory conditions, and enables testing and calibration of spacecraft instruments and components for NASAs solar system missions, including those requiring a large volume of low atmospheric pressure.
PAL consists of: (1) the Mars Wind Tunnel (MARSWIT) and (2) Titan Wind Tunnel (TWT) located in the Structural Dynamics Building (N-242) at the NASA ARC in Mountain View, California and administered by Arizona State University, with supporting facilities (3) an ambient pressure/temperature wind tunnel (ASUWIT) and (4) a vortex (dust devil) generator (ASUVG) on the Tempe campus of Arizona State University (ASU). The MARSWIT and TWT are supported by shops, instrument facilities, and imaging services at NASA-Ames. PAL facilities at ARC also have a full-time technician (an ASU employee working at ARC) to serve planetary users. The ASUWIT and ASUVG are supported by technical staff at ASU.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date8/24/169/30/19

Funding

  • NASA: Goddard Space Flight Center: $474,834.00

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wind tunnel
Titan
Mars
eolian process
low pressure
dust devil
Saturn
laboratory
atmospheric pressure
solar system
Moon
vortex
spacecraft
temperature
calibration
mountain
simulation
experiment