In situ dust measurements in the inner Saturnian system

R. Srama*, S. Kempf, G. Moragas-Klostermeyer, S. Helfert, T. J. Ahrens, N. Altobelli, S. Auer, U. Beckmann, J. G. Bradley, M. Burton, V. V. Dikarev, T. Economou, H. Fechtig, S. F. Green, M. Grande, O. Havnes, J. K. Hillier, M. Horanyi, E. Igenbergs, E. K. JessbergerT. V. Johnson, H. Krüger, G. Matt, N. McBride, A. Mocker, P. Lamy, D. Linkert, G. Linkert, F. Lura, J. A.M. McDonnell, D. Möhlmann, G. E. Morfill, F. Postberg, M. Roy, G. H. Schwehm, F. Spahn, J. Svestka, V. Tschernjawski, A. J. Tuzzolino, R. Wäsch, E. Grün

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

In July 2004 the Cassini-Huygens mission reached the Saturnian system and started its orbital tour. A total of 75 orbits will be carried out during the primary mission until August 2008. In these four years Cassini crosses the ring plane 150 times and spends approx. 400 h within Titan's orbit. The Cosmic Dust Analyser (CDA) onboard Cassini characterises the dust environment with its extended E ring and embedded moons. Here, we focus on the CDA results of the first year and we present the Dust Analyser (DA) data within Titan's orbit. This paper does investigate High Rate Detector data and dust composition measurements. The authors focus on the analysis of impact rates, which were strongly variable primarily due to changes of the spacecraft pointing. An overview is given about the ring plane crossings and the DA counter measurements. The DA dust impact rates are compared with the DA boresight configuration around all ring plane crossings between June 2004 and July 2005. Dust impacts were registered at altitudes as high as 100 000 km above the ring plane at distances from Saturn between 4 and 10 Saturn radii. In those regions the dust density of particles bigger than 0.5 μ m can reach values of 0.001 m- 3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)967-987
Number of pages21
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Volume54
Issue number9-10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006

Keywords

  • Cassini
  • CDA
  • Dust
  • E-ring
  • Water ice

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