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Thermal conductivity measurements of particulate materials under Martian conditionsThe mean particle diameter of surficial units on Mars has been approximated by applying thermal inertia determinations from the Mariner 9 Infrared Radiometer and the Viking Infrared Thermal Mapper data together with thermal conductivity measurement. Several studies have used this approximation to characterize surficial units and infer their nature and possible origin. Such interpretations are possible because previous measurements of the thermal conductivity of particulate materials have shown that particle size significantly affects thermal conductivity under martian atmospheric pressures. The transfer of thermal energy due to collisions of gas molecules is the predominant mechanism of thermal conductivity in porous systems for gas pressures above about 0.01 torr. At martian atmospheric pressures the mean free path of the gas molecules becomes greater than the effective distance over which conduction takes place between the particles. Gas particles are then more likely to collide with the solid particles than they are with each other. The average heat transfer distance between particles, which is related to particle size, shape and packing, thus determines how fast heat will flow through a particulate material.The derived one-to-one correspondence of thermal inertia to mean particle diameter implies a certain homogeneity in the materials analyzed. Yet the samples used were often characterized by fairly wide ranges of particle sizes with little information about the possible distribution of sizes within those ranges. Interpretation of thermal inertia data is further limited by the lack of data on other effects on the interparticle spacing relative to particle size, such as particle shape, bimodal or polymodal mixtures of grain sizes and formation of salt cements between grains. To address these limitations and to provide a more comprehensive set of thermal conductivities vs. particle size a linear heat source apparatus, similar to that of Cremers, was assembled to provide a means of measuring the thermal conductivity of particulate samples. In order to concentrate on the dependence of the thermal conductivity on particle size, initial runs will use spherical glass beads that are precision sieved into relatively small size ranges and thoroughly washed.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Presley, M. A. (Arizona State Univ. Tempe, AZ, United States)
Christensen, P. R. (Arizona State Univ. Tempe, AZ, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-Fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 3: N-Z
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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