The Planetary Aerosol Monitor/Interplanetary Dust Analyzer is a light-scattering device of a new generation developed for remote sensing of single dust particles of micron size. The choice of scattering angles, a sophisticated light collecting assembly, and analysis algorithms (derived from microwave analog scattering measurements), allow classification of the dust particles according not only to their light-scattering properties and speed, but also to: size shape (equidimensional, elongated, smooth or angular)
• composition (dielectric, absorbing, or metallic)
• internal structure (compact or porous)
The processing software is able to classify the particles autonomously and to generate a particle parameter matrix (including correlation parameters). A compact data set can thus be stored and the already reduced data can be transmitted at any time.
The schematics of the instrument is shown on Figure 1. The instrument wakes up from its power saving mode within a few microseconds after a dust particle intercepts a light curtain in the instrument's alert stage. This triggers a second light curtain in the scattering stage where the detector optics are designed to obtain intensity and polarization averaged over specific scattering angle ranges. Time of flight between the alert and scattering stages gives the particle speed. Particles exit unaltered so that a momentum, mass, or any other type of analysis or collection device may operate in tandem with PAM/IDA
Alert Laser Screen
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