A Secondary Ion Mass Analyzer for Remote Surface Composition Analysis of the Galilean Moons

Source: NTRS


Galileo in-situ dust measurements have shown that the Galilean moons are surrounded by tenuous dust clouds formed by collisional ejecta from their icy surfaces, kicked up by impacts of interplanetary micrometeoroids. The majority of the ejecta dust particles have been sensed at altitudes below five between 0.5 and 1 micron, just above the detector threshold, indicating a size distribution decreasing towards bigger particles. their parent bodies. They carry information about the properties of the surface from which they have been kicked up. In particular, these grains may carry organic compounds and other chemicals of biological relevance if they exist on the icy Galilean moons. In-situ analysis of the grain composition with a sophisticated dust analyzer instrument flying on a Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter can provide important information about geochemical and geophysical processes during the evolutionary histories of these moons which are not accessible with other techniques from an orbiter spacecraft. Thus, spacecraft-based in-situ dust measurements can be used as a diagnostic tool for the analysis of the surface composition of the moons. This way, the in-situ measurements turn into a remote sensing technique by using the dust instrument like a telescope for surface investigation. An instrument capable of very high resolution composition analysis of dust particles is the Cometary Secondary Ion Mass Analyzer (COSIMA). The instrument was originally developed for the Comet Rendezvous and Asteroid Flyby (CRAF) mission and has now been built for ESA'S comet orbiter Rosetta. Dust particles are collected on a target and are later located by an optical microscope camera. A pulsed primary indium ion gun partially ionizes the dust grains. The generated secondary ions are accelerated in an electric field and travel through a reflectron-type time-of-flight ion mass spectrometer.

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