Space-Based Experiments on Cohesive Sediment

Accurate sediment models are essential to predict the environmental dynamics of lakes, estuaries, the coastal ocean, fisheries, and benthic habitats, and they play a central role in hydrocarbon exploration. However, sediment can display extremely complex mechanics resulting from strong cohesive and adhesive forces between individual particles. These forces are obscured by the effects of gravity at the laboratory scale, making it difficult to measure them in an Earth-bound setting. This project, supported by a grant from NSF-CASIS, will yield accurate measurements in space-based experiments, as well as their implementation in state-of-the-art computational codes, enabling vast improvements in the accuracy of environmental models.

The experiment, labeled BCAT-CS, was successfully launched on June 29, 2018. Here is a brief video introduction to the project, and here is the science briefing that broadcast on NASA TV.