The Cassini cosmic dust analyzer

R. Srama, T. J. Ahrens, N. Altobelli, S. Auer, J. G. Bradley, M. Burton, V. V. Dikarev, T. Economou, H. Fechtig, M. Görlich, M. Grande, A. Graps, E. Grün, O. Havnes, S. Helfert, M. Horanyi, E. Igenbergs, E. K. Jessberger, T. V. Johnson, S. KempfA. V. Krivov, H. Krüger, A. Mocker-Ahlreep, G. Moragas-Klostermeyer, P. Lamy, M. Landgraf, D. Linkert, G. Linkert, F. Lura, J. A.M. Mcdonnell, D. Möhlmann, G. E. Morfill, M. Müller, M. Roy, G. Schäfer, G. Schlotzhauer, G. H. Schwehm, F. Spahn, M. Stübig, J. Svestka, V. Tschernjawski, A. J. Tuzzolino, R. Wäsch, H. A. Zook

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252 Scopus citations


The Cassini-Huygens Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA) is intended to provide direct observations of dust grains with masses between 10-19 and 10-9 kg in interplanetary space and in the jovian and saturnian systems, to investigate their physical, chemical and dynamical properties as functions of the distances to the Sun, to Jupiter and to Saturn and its satellites and rings, to study their interaction with the saturnian rings, satellites and magnetosphere. Chemical composition of interplanetary meteoroids will be compared with asteroidal and cometary dust, as well as with Saturn dust, ejecta from rings and satellites. Ring and satellites phenomena which might be effects of meteoroid impacts will be compared with the interplanetary dust environment. Electrical charges of particulate matter in the magnetosphere and its consequences will be studied, e.g. the effects of the ambient plasma and the magnetic field on the trajectories of dust particles as well as fragmentation of particles due to electrostatic disruption. The investigation will be performed with an instrument that measures the mass, composition, electric charge, speed, and flight direction of individual dust particles. It is a highly reliable and versatile instrument with a mass sensitivity 106 times higher than that of the Pioneer 10 and 11 dust detectors which measured dust in the saturnian system. The Cosmic Dust Analyzer has significant inheritance from former space instrumentation developed for the VEGA, Giotto, Galileo, and Ulysses missions. It will reliably measure impacts from as low as 1 impact per month up to 104 impacts per second. The instrument weighs 17 kg and consumes 12 W, the integrated time-of-flight mass spectrometer has a mass resolution of up to 50. The nominal data transmission rate is 524 bits/s and varies between 50 and 4192 bps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-518
Number of pages54
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • CDA
  • Cassini
  • Dust sensor
  • E-ring
  • Interplanetary dust


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