The first complex organic spectra have been obtained in the laboratory from hypervelocity impacts using a variety of low density carbon-rich projectiles on a CDA representative instrument. There is evidence for molecularly bonded components within the impact produced ionic plasma even at low velocities, ~3 km s"1. Spectral responses are consistent although possible velocity dependencies have been identified requiring further investigation. Despite statistically small sample sizes, differences in spectral response due to composition are apparent and will be further characterised in the future.

The suitability of these projectiles to the calibration of CDA type instruments has been demonstrated. The well known nature of the organic projectiles will permit an improved understanding of the physics of ionic plasma formation in hypervelocity impact.

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