Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) is a powerful numerical method to study rarefied gas flows such as cometary comae and has been used by several authors over the past decade to study cometary outflow. However, the investigation of the parameter space in simulations can be time consuming since 3D DSMC is computationally highly intensive. For the target of ESA’s Rosetta mission, comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, we have identified to what extent modification of several parameters influence the 3D flow and gas temperature fields and have attempted to establish the reliability of inferences about the initial conditions from in situ and remote sensing measurements. A large number of DSMC runs have been completed with varying input parameters. In this work, we present the simulation results and conclude on the sensitivity of solutions to certain inputs. It is found that among cases of water outgassing, the surface production rate distribution is the most influential variable to the flow field.
- Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko
- Direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC)