AtmoFlow: Convection in spherical shell with atmospheric boundary conditions

  • Szabo, Peter (Brandenburg University of Technology)
  • Gaillard, Yann (Brandenburg University of Technology)
  • Egbers, Christoph (Brandenburg University of Technology)

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Convection of planetary interiors or atmospheres are usually investigated either by observations, numerical simulations or laboratory experiments. Since the early 60s geophysicists have started investigating such large-scale planetary flows with the support of small-scaled laboratory experiments that do not lose the overall physical meaning of the flow dynamics. Test beds have ranged from deferentially heated annuli to spherical shells. To investigate inner-core or mantel-convection of planets an experiment named GeoFlow was developed and served from 2008 to 2016 several successful runs on the International Space Station (ISS). This particular spherical shell experiment used an electric central force field to mimic terrestrial gravity whereas planetary rotation was performed by spherical shell rotation. Here, we present the followup experiment that is currently built at Airbus Defence and Space and named AtmoFlow. As the name already indicates, the experiment is developed to identify and understand the local formation of global planetary waves that contribute towards the large-scale thermal transport in atmospheres.