The Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA)

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The Cosmic Dust Analyser CDA is the dust detector on the Cassini spacecraft and consists of two independent instruments: the High Rate Detector (HRD) and the Dust Analyser (DA). The CDA consists of two instruments: the High Rate Detector (HRD) counts the number of impacts of grains approximately bigger than 1µm; the Dust Analyser (DA) is a multi-coincidence detector that detects individual grains traversing through its entrance grid system QP and/or striking its impact target. The DA provides estimates of the grain's mass and speed, but under some circumstances, information about the grain charge, and its elemental composition can also be obtained.

Instrument parameters:

Dust Analyser:

  • dust mass: 510-18 kg ... 10-12 kg for v~20 km/s
  • impact speed: 1km/s...70 km/s
  • electric charge carried by the particle: >1 fC
  • chemical composition: mass range 1 amu...7000 amu, m/Δm ~ 20...50

High Rate Detector:

  • up to 10 000 dust impacts per second