EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Nanodust detection with Cassini CDA - Implications for DESTINY+ and Interstellar Probe

Ralf Srama1,2, Jon K. Hillier3, Sean Hsu4, Sascha Kempf4, Masanori Kobayashi5, Harald Krueger6, Georg Moragas-Klostermeyer1, Anna Mocker1, Jonas Simolka1, Veerle Sterken7, Zoltan Sternovsky4, and Heiko Strack1
Ralf Srama et al.
  • 1University of Stuttgart, IRS, -, Stuttgart, Germany (
  • 2Baylor University, Waco, TX, USA
  • 3Freie University of Berlin, GER
  • 4LASP, University of Colorado, USA
  • 5CIT, Tokyo, JPN
  • 6MPI Solar System Research, Goettingen, GER
  • 7ETH Zurich, Institute for Particle Physics and Astrophysics, CH

The Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA) onboard Cassini characterized successfully the dust environment at Saturn from 2004 to 2017. Besides the study of Saturn’s E ring and its interaction with the embedded moons, CDA detected nanoparticles in the outer Saturn system moving on unbound orbits and originating primarily from Saturn’s E-ring. Although the instrument was built to detect micron and sub-micron sized particles, nano-sized grains were detected during the flyby at early Jupiter and in the outer environment at Saturn. Fast dust particles with sizes below 10 nm were measured by in-situ impact ionization and mass spectra were recorded. What are the limits of in-situ hypervelocity impact detection and what can be expected with current high-resolution mass spectrometers as flown onboard the missions DESTINY+ or EUROPA? Is the sensitivity of Dust Telescopes sufficient to detect nano-diamonds in interstellar space? This presentation summarizes the current experience of in-situ dust detectors and gives a prediction for future missions. In summary, current Dust Telescopes with integrated high-resolution mass spectrometers are more sensitive than the CASSINI Cosmic Dust Analyzer.

How to cite: Srama, R., Hillier, J. K., Hsu, S., Kempf, S., Kobayashi, M., Krueger, H., Moragas-Klostermeyer, G., Mocker, A., Simolka, J., Sterken, V., Sternovsky, Z., and Strack, H.: Nanodust detection with Cassini CDA - Implications for DESTINY+ and Interstellar Probe, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3198,, 2021.

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