mars covered glacial deposits middle latitudes


Andrew Walker


Aerospace Engineering

I am a graduate research assistant in the aerospace engineering department. I received my bachelor's of science (majoring in physics) from Oregon State and am now in my fifth year of doctoral study. My research focuses on the atmosphere of Io, closest satellite of Jupiter. I use a computational method, direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC), to simulate the sublimation atmosphere of Io. Io suffers intense tidal heating due to the orbital resonance with the 3 other closest Jovian satellites. This tidal heating makes Io the most volcanically active body in the solar system. Some of the material ejected from these volcanic plumes is trapped by Jupiter's magnetic field and this material forms the Jovian plasma torus which constantly bombards Io. These unique physical features make Io's atmosphere very complex to both observe and simulate because of the temporal unsteadiness.