37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 17 Dust, Impacts and Earth Atmosphere
Poster, Monday, September 5, 2005, 6:00-7:15pm, Music Recital Room

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[17.02] GEO Debris and Interplanetary Dust: Fluxes and Charging Behavior

A.L. Graps (IFSI), S.F. Green, N.M. McBride (Open University), J.A.M. McDonnell (Unispace Kent), G. Drolshagen, H. Svedhem (ESTEC), K.D. Bunte (eta max space)

A population of cosmic dust mixed with a population of man-made debris exists within the Earth's magnetosphere. Measurements of these provide the data samples for studies of the interplanetary dust particles that travel through our magnetosphere from the outside and for studies of the local byproducts of our space endeavours. Even though instruments to detect natural meteoroids and space debris particles have been flown in Low Earth Orbits (LEO) and on interplanetary missions, very little information on the particle environment for Earth orbits above about 600 km altitude have been available. In particular, knowledge about particles smaller than 1 m in the geostationary (GEO) region was largely unknown before GORID. In September 1996, a dust/debris detector: GORID was launched into GEO as a piggyback instrument on the Russian Express-2 telecommunications spacecraft. The instrument began its normal operation in April 1997 and ended its mission in July 2002. The goal of this work was to use GORID's particle data to identify and separate the space debris from the interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) in GEO, to more finely determine the instrument's measurement characteristics and to derive impact fluxes. Here we present some results of that study. We give GORID flux distributions for debris and IDPs and then present intriguing debris clustering features that might be the result of electrostatic fragmentation of the rocket slag particles.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: amara.graps@ifsi.rm.cnr.it

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
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