Twin Regolith Aggregate Collision Experiment
TRACE is a low velocity collision experiment designed to characterize and understand the collisional properties of specific materials in microgravity. TRACE uses the Drop Tower platform to obtain near zero gravity and simulates accretion by colliding aggregates made of regolith simulants. Collisions take place at varying speeds and aggregate strengths and are recorded on a high speed camera. TRACE tests collisional properties by looking at the strength, ejecta velocity, fragmentation threshold, and Coefficient of Restitution of the aggregates. Postdoctoral Associate Akbar Whizin was the lead for TRACE and he used the results as input in his dissertation to validate computer simulations.