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Linear high resolution dust mass spectrometer for a mission to the Galilean satellites

  • The discovery of volcanic activity on Enceladus stands out amongst the long list of findings by the Cassini mission to Saturn. In particular the compositional analysis of Enceladus ice particles by Cassini's Cosmic Dust Analyser (CDA) (Srama et al., 2004) has proven to be a powerful technique for obtaining information about processes below the moon's ice crust. Small amounts of sodium salts embedded in the particles' ice matrices provide direct evidence for a subsurface liquid water reservoir, which is, or has been, in contact with the moon's rocky core (Postberg et al., 2009, 2011b). Jupiter's Galilean satellites Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto are also believed to have subsurface oceans and are therefore prime targets for future NASA and ESA outer Solar System missions. The Galilean moons are engulfed in tenuous dust clouds consisting of tiny pieces of the moons' surfaces (Kruger et al., 1999), released by hypervelocity impacts of micrometeoroids, which steadily bombard the surfaces of the moons. In situ chemical analysis of theseThe discovery of volcanic activity on Enceladus stands out amongst the long list of findings by the Cassini mission to Saturn. In particular the compositional analysis of Enceladus ice particles by Cassini's Cosmic Dust Analyser (CDA) (Srama et al., 2004) has proven to be a powerful technique for obtaining information about processes below the moon's ice crust. Small amounts of sodium salts embedded in the particles' ice matrices provide direct evidence for a subsurface liquid water reservoir, which is, or has been, in contact with the moon's rocky core (Postberg et al., 2009, 2011b). Jupiter's Galilean satellites Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto are also believed to have subsurface oceans and are therefore prime targets for future NASA and ESA outer Solar System missions. The Galilean moons are engulfed in tenuous dust clouds consisting of tiny pieces of the moons' surfaces (Kruger et al., 1999), released by hypervelocity impacts of micrometeoroids, which steadily bombard the surfaces of the moons. In situ chemical analysis of these grains by a high resolution dust spectrometer will provide spatially resolved mapping of the surface composition of Europa. Ganymede, and Callisto, meeting key scientific objectives of the planned missions. However, novel high-resolution reflectron-type dust mass spectrometers (Sternovsky et al., 2007; Srama et al., 2007) developed for dust astronomy missions (Gran et al., 2009) are probably not robust enough to be operated in the energetic radiation environment of the inner Jovian system. In contrast, CDA's linear spectrometer is much less affected by harsh radiation conditions because its ion detector is not directly facing out into space. The instrument has been continuously operated on Cassini for 11 years. In this paper we investigate the possibility of operating a CDA-like instrument as a high resolution impact mass spectrometer. We show that such an instrument is capable of reliably identifying traces of organic and inorganic materials in the ice matrix of ejecta expected to be generated from the surfaces of the Galilean moons. These measurements are complementary, and in some cases superior, compared to other traditional techniques such as infrared remote sensing or in situ ion or neutral mass spectrometers.show moreshow less

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Author:Sascha Kempf, Ralf Srama, Eberhard Grün, Anna Mocker, Frank Postberg, Jon K. Hillier, Mihaly Horanyi, Zoltan Sternovsky, Bernd AbelORCiD, Alexander Beinsen, Roland Thissen, Jürgen Schmidt, Frank Spahn, Nicolas Altobelli
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2011.12.019
ISSN:0032-0633 (print)
Parent Title (English):Planetary and space science
Publisher:Elsevier
Place of publication:Oxford
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2012
Year of Completion:2012
Release Date:2017/03/26
Tag:Callisto; Dust; Europa; Ganymede; Mass spectroscopy; Surface composition
Volume:65
Issue:1
Pagenumber:11
First Page:10
Last Page:20
Funder:DLR e.V. [50 OH 1103]; UK Science and Technology Facilities Council
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Physik und Astronomie
Peer Review:Referiert