DEVELOPMENT OF AN ADVANCED DUST TELESCOPE
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There are different types of dust particles in interplanetary space, such as dust from comets and asteroids, and interstellar grains traversing the solar system. Based on experience with current space dust instruments, a novel dust telescope is being developed. A dust telescope is a combination of a dust trajectory sensor for the identification and an analyzer for the elemental composition of the dust. Dust particles’ trajectories are determined by the measurement of the electric signals that are induced when a charged grain flies through a position-sensitive electrode system. The objective of the trajectory sensor is to measure dust charges in the range 10−16–10−13 C and dust speeds in the range 6–100 km/s. First tests with a laboratory setup have been performed. The chemical analyzer will have an impact area of 0.1 m2. It consists of a target with an acceleration grid and a single-stage reflectron for energy focusing, and a central ion detector. Results from SIMION simulations show that a mass resolution of M/ΔM>150 can be obtained.
KeywordsDust Dust Particle Interplanetary Space Interstellar Dust Cosmic Dust
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This research is supported by DLR grant 50OO0201 and NASA grant NAG5-11782.
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