Cassini Scientific Objectives For Saturn Ring Observations

Cassini ring scientists outlined their primary objectives for Cassini as follows [74]:

(1) Study the configuration of the rings and the dynamic processes responsible for ring structure.

(2) Map the composition and size distribution of ring material.

(3) Investigate the interrelation of rings and moons, including embedded moons.

(4) Determine the distribution of dust and meteoroid distribution in the vicinity of the rings.

(5) Study the interactions between the rings and Saturn's magnetosphere, ionosphere, and atmosphere.

Table 9.3. Cassini ring objective contributions by investigation.

Orbiter investigation

Ring objectives

Web site

Cassini plasma spectrometer

-, 2, 3, -,

-

http://caps.space.swri.edu/

Cosmic dust analyzer

-, 2, 3, 4,

5

http://www.mpi-hd.mpg.de/dustgroup/ cassini/

Composite infrared spectrometer

1, 2, 3, -,

5

http://cirs.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Ion/Neutral mass spectrometer

-, 2, -, -,

-

http://caps.space.swri.edu/inms/ inms.html

Imaging science

1, 2, 3, 4,

5

http://ciclops.org/index.php

Dual technique magnetometer

1, -, -, -,

-

http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/spat/ research/space missions/cassini/

Magnetosphere imaging instrument

-, -, -, -,

5

http://sd-www.jhuapl.edu/CASSINI/

Titan radar

-, -, -, -,

5

http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/spacecraft/ instruments-cassini-radar.cfm

Radio/Plasma wave spectrometer

-, -, -, 4,

5

http://www-pw.physics.uiowa.edu/ plasma-wave/cassini/home.html

Radio science

1, 2, 3, -,

-

http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/spacecraft/ instruments-cassini-rss.cfm

Ultraviolet imaging spectrograph

1, 2, 3, -,

5

http://lasp.colorado.edu/cassini/

Visible/Infrared mapping spectrometer

1, 2, 3, 4,

5

http://wwwvims.lpl.arizona.edu/

Without being specific about the observational or analytical methods involved, Table 9.3 outlines which investigations provide a major contribution to the achievement of each of these objectives. As illustrated in the table, each of the 12 Cassini Orbiter investigations contributes to at least one of the ring objectives, and most contribute to several or all of them. Details of the plans and results of each of the 12 investigations can be found on their individual web sites, also shown in Table 9.3.

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