The 2009 JPL-Caltech Summer Titan SURF Project


  • Mentor(s): Jerrold Marsden, Claire Newman, Philip DuToit, Sarah Sherman
  • Project Description: The student will make use of currently available wind models for the atmosphere of Titan and use Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCS) to determine regions of the Titan atmosphere in which free floating balloons are likely to remain, or said a different way, to determine where the transport barriers are. In addition, the student will work with the Titan propulsion group to try to determine what are the power requirements for a balloon to navigate through different regions of the atmosphere. A related objective may be to determine optimal strategies for navigating between different regions of the Titan atmosphere. This year's focus will be on 3D aspects of the problem. Students interested in this project (there could be more than one) should contact the mentors for background information and to find out what has been already been accomplished.
  • Recommended Prerequisites: Some experience with basic dynamical systems, control, and computation.

  • Link to LCS research page LCS Projects Page