Modelling CDA mass spectra

Hillier, Jon K.; McBride, N.; Green, S.F.; Kempf, S. and Srama, R. (2006). Modelling CDA mass spectra. Planetary and Space Science, 54(9-10) pp. 1007–1013.



We present the initial results from a simulation of ion behaviour within Cassini's cosmic dust analyser (CDA) instrument, using an in-house ion dynamics code. This work is to enable and enhance the detailed interpretation of dust impact ionisation mass spectra returned from the Saturnian system. Early work has already provided insights into the properties of the impact plasma in both low- and high-velocity impacts. We find that the isotropic emission of ions from the impact plasma successfully reproduces features seen in flight spectra and that the emitted ions have a higher range of energies (tens to hundreds of eV) than previously reported in some studies. Using these new ion characteristics, we have successfully modelled CDA flight mass spectra.

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