Collision Between Regolith Aggregates

COBRA  is an experiment designed to explore low-velocity collisions and understand which collisional parameters affect the elasticity of collisions (whether things stick together, bounce off of each other, or break apart). This information can be used to understand the early stages of planetary formation and the evolution of particles in rings systems. The collisions take place in a 1-m evacuated chamber, and both particles are in free-fall. This enables us to study collisions at low velocities (< 1 m/s) like those in planetary ring systems and some collisions in protoplanetary disks. We observe the collision with a high-frame-rate camera and track the positions of each particle. We perform similar experiments in our drop tower with the CODA experiment. By studying the outcomes of collisions for different types of particles we hope to understand the kinds of collisions that are conducive to accretion.