31st Annual Meeting of the DPS, October 1999
Session 29. Science and Technology of Future Space Missions III
Special Solicited and Contributed Oral Parallel Session, Tuesday, October 12, 1999, 2:00-3:30pm, Sala Kursaal

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[29.06] Experiments for in-situ monitoring of dust environments in the Solar System

L. Colangeli (Oss. Astronomico di Capodimonte), E. Bussoletti (Ist. Univ. Navale), J.J. Lopez Moreno (Inst. de Astrofisica de Andalucia), E. Epifani, F. Esposito (Univ.' "Federico II" \& Oss. Astronomico di Capodimonte), V. Mennella (Oss. Astronomico di Capodimonte), E. Palomba (Oss. Astronomico di Capodimonte \& Obs. Haute Provence, S. Michel l'Obs.), P. Palumbo, A. Rotundi (Ist. Univ. Navale), S. Vergara (Ist. Univ. Navale \& Oss. Astronomico di Capodimonte), J.M. Jeronimo, A.C. Lopez-Jimenez (Inst. de Astrofisica de Andalucia), A. Molina (Inst. de Astrofisica de Andalucia \& Univ. de Granada), R. Morales, F. Moreno, I. Olivares, R. Rodrigo, J.F. Rodriguez-Gomez, A. Ruiz-Falco, J. Sanchez (Inst. de Astrofisica de Andalucia), J.A.M. Mc Donnell, M. Leese (Univ. of Kent at Canterbury), P. Lamy, S. Perruchot (Lab. d'Astronomie Spatiale), J.F. Crifo (CNRS, Service d'Aeronomie, Verrieres le Buisson), M. Fulle (Oss. Astronomico di Trieste), J.M. Perrin (Obs. Haute Provence, S. Michel l'Observatoire), F. Angrilli (CISAS - Dipart. di Ingegneria Meccanica), A. Coradini (IAS Reparto di Planetologia, CNR), F. Giovane (NASA HQ), E. Gruen (Max Planck Inst. fur Kernphysik), B. Gustafson (U. of Florida), C. Maag (T \& M Engineering), P.R. Weissman (Jet Propulsion Lab.)

"Dust" is present in the Solar System, from planetary surfaces to comets. The in-situ monitoring of its physical and dynamical properties is one of the main scientific tasks to be achieved in order to characterise grains and to correctly understand their role in the evolution of Solar System bodies. A new generation of methods for in-situ exploration of dusty environments in the Solar System has been studied and adopted in different instruments under development or study for future planetary space missions. Mass flux measurements by quartz crystal microbalances, optical detection of single grains and momentum monitoring by piezoelectric transducers are techniques which provide high sensitivity for grains at relatively low (below some hundreds m/s) velocities. The GIADA (Grain Impact Analyser and Dust Accumulator) experiment is part of the payload of the ESA Rosetta orbiter, targeted to a rendez-vous of 46P/Wirtanen comet. Thanks to GIADA, one of the prime scientific objectives of the mission will be fulfilled, i.e. the monitoring of the cometary coma dust environment. The dust flux from different directions vs. time and the momentum and velocity vs. mass of particles will be measured, while comet will approach the Sun. The MAGO (Martian Atmospheric Grain Observer) instrument, under study in the framework of the next Mars exploration opportunities (e.g.: Mars Surveyor Program 2003) adopts similar technical solutions and is aimed at measuring, directly for the first time, the dust mass flux in the Martian atmosphere and the dynamical properties of airborne particles vs. time. Finally, similar measurement techniques can be integrated with other detection/collection systems (e.g. aerogel collectors) to monitor the dust in the near Earth environment, e.g. from the space station.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: colangeli@na.astro.it

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