Interplanetary dust detection by radio antennas: Mass calibration and fluxes measured by STEREO/WAVES
Le Chat, G.
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We analyze dust impacts recorded by the S/WAVES radio instrument onboard the two STEREO spacecraft near 1 A.U. during the period 2007–2010. The impact of a dust particle on a spacecraft produces a plasma cloud whose associated electric field can be detected by on-board electric antennas. For this study we use the electric potential time series recorded by the waveform sampler of the instrument. The high time resolution and long sampling times of this measurement enable us to deduce considerably more information than in previous studies based on the dynamic power spectra provided by the same instrument or by radio instruments onboard other spacecraft. The large detection area compared to conventional dust detectors provides flux data with a better statistics. We show that the dust-generated signals are of two kinds, corresponding to impacts of dust from distinctly different mass ranges. We propose calibration formulas for these signals and show that we are able to use S/WAVES as a dust detector with convincing results both in the nanometer and micrometer size ranges. In the latter, the orbital motion of the spacecraft enables us to distinguish between interstellar and interplanetary dust components. Our measurements cover the mass intervals ∼10−22–10−20 kg and ∼10−17 − 5 × 10−16 kg. The flux of the larger dust agrees with measurements of other instruments on different spacecraft.
CitationZaslavsky, A.; Meyer-Vernet, N.; Mann, I.; Czechowski, A.; Issautier, K.; Le Chat, G.; Pantellini, F.; Goetz, K.; Maksimovic, M.; Bale, S.D.; Kasper, J.C. (2012). Interplanetary dust detection by radio antennas: Mass calibration and fluxes measured by STEREO/WAVES. , Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 117, Issue 5, A05101, DOI: 10.1029/2011JA017480.