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R. Link (Algoma Research, Inc.), W. F. Huebner (Southwest Research Institute)
We are developing a new deterministic model for the effusion of molecular gases from a porous comet surface into the transition region (Knudsen Layer) of the atmosphere. The model is based on the direct solution of the multistream Boltzmann transport equation, and is significantly faster than Monte Carlo methods. In the first year of this work, we have developed a numerical solution of the transport equation relevant to comets, and have examined the transport behavior of H2O effusing from beneath the comet surface into the coma, including fluxes returning to the surface. The model conserves energy to better than 1%. The model is being developed in anticipation of measurements of molecular microwave lineshapes to be made by the MIRO instrument on the upcoming Rosetta mission.
This research is supported by SwRI and the NASA Planetary Atmospheres Program.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #3< br> © 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.