Dust Flux Monitor Instrument for the Stardust mission to comet Wild 2

Tuzzolino, A.J.; Economou, T.E.; McKibben, R.B.; Simpson, J.A.; McDonnell, J.A.M.; Burchell, M.J.; Vaughan, B.A.M.; Tsou, P.; Hanner, M.S.; Clark, B.C. and Brownlee, D.E. (2003). Dust Flux Monitor Instrument for the Stardust mission to comet Wild 2. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 180(E10) p. 8115.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2003JE002086


1] The Dust Flux Monitor Instrument (DFMI) is part of the Stardust instrument payload. The prime goal of the DFMI is to measure the particle flux, intensity profile, and mass distribution during passage through the coma of comet Wild 2 in January 2004. This information is valuable for assessment of spacecraft risk and health and also for interpretation of the laboratory analysis of dust captured by the Aerogel dust collectors and returned to Earth. At the encounter speed of 6.1 km/s, the DFMI measurements will extend over the particle mass range of 8 decades, from 10−11 to >10−3 g. A secondary science goal is to measure the particle flux and mass distribution during the ~7 year interplanetary portions of the mission, where, in addition to measurements of the background interplanetary dust over the radial range 0.98 AU to 2.7 AU, multiple opportunities exist for possible detection by the DFMI of interplanetary meteor-stream particles and interstellar dust. The DFMI consists of two different dust detector systems: a polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) Dust Sensor Unit (SU), which measures particles with mass <~10−4 g, and a Dual Acoustic Sensor System (DASS), which utilizes two quartz piezoelectric accelerometers mounted on the first two layers of the spacecraft Whipple dust shield to measure the flux of particles with mass >10−4 g. The large Whipple shield structures provide the large effective sensitive area required for detection of the expected low flux of high-mass particles.

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