DPS 2001 meeting, November 2001
Session 57. Future Missions and Instruments posters
Displayed, 9:00am Tuesday - 3:00pm Saturday, Highlighted, Saturday, December 1, 2001, 2:00-2:30pm, French Market Exhibit Hall

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[57.03] A Novel Dust Telescope

E. Grün (MPI-K/U. Hawaii), R. Srama, H. Krüger, S. Kempf (MPI-K), D. Harris, T. Conlon (U. Hawaii), S. Auer (A&M Assoc.)

Dust particles in space, like photons, are born at remote sites in space and time. From knowledge of the dust particles' birthplace and the particles' bulk properties, we can learn about the remote environment out of which the particles were formed. This approach is carried out by means of a dust telescope on a dust observatory in space. A dust telescope is a combination of a dust trajectory sensor together with a chemical composition analyzer for dust particles. A novel dust telescope is described. It consists of a highly sensitive dust trajectory sensor, and a large area chemical dust analyzer. It can provide valuable information about the particles' birthplace which may not be accessible by other techniques.

Dust particles' trajectories are determined by the measurement of the electric signals that are induced when a charged grain flies through an appropriately configured electrode systems. After the successful identification of a few charged micron-sized dust grains in space by the Cassini Cosmic Dust Analyzer, this dust telescope has a ten fold increased sensitivity of charge detection (10-16 Coulombs) and will be able to obtain trajectories for sub-micron sized dust grains.

State-of-the art dust chemical analyzers have sufficient mass resolution to resolve ions with atomic mass numbers above 100. However, since their impact areas are small they can analyze statistically meaningful numbers of grains only in the dust-rich environments of comets or ringed planets. Therefore, this dust telescope includes a large area (0.1 m2) chemical dust analyzer of mass resolution > 100 that will allow us to obtain statistically significant measurements of interplanetary and interstellar dust grains in space.

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