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Giotto Dust Impact Detector Observations near Comet Halley


Abstract: Dust Impact Detection System (DIDSY) consists of six independent subsystems with the primary aim of registering the impacts of all particulates of significant mass incident on the probe during the post-perihelion encounter with Comet Halley in 1986. Mounted on Giotto's front dust shield, the detectors will determine the mass spectrum of the dust, with a limiting sensitivity of some 10^^-17^^ g, increasing to the largest grain masses encountered along Giotto's trajectory through the cometary environment with an ultimate spatial resolution of some 70 km. An additional detector is located on the rear shield to monitor those dust particles (m > ~ 5 X 10^^-7^^ g) that are able to penetrate the front dust shield. An ambient plasma monitor is also incorporated into DIDSY to measure the inJpact plasma generated by both dust and gas impacts on the spacecraft. The system is controlled and its data processed by a microprocessor-based system that allows the wide range of anticipated impact rates (varying from a few per minute, to ~ 10^6 s^^-1^^ at closest approach) to be handled. The instrument weighs 2.26 kg and consumes 1.9 W of power during normal operation.

GIO-C-DID-3-RDR-HALLEY-V1.0 Browse Download (921.7 KB)

Citation to use when referencing this data set: "McDonnell, J. A. M, GIOTTO DUST IMPACT DETECTOR SYSTEM DATA V1.0, GIO-C-DID-3-RDR-HALLEY-V1.0, NASA Planetary Data System, 1992."

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