Laboratory for Atomic and Surface Physics

Research > Other

Spacecraft instrumentation

We participate in the team involved with the design of the plasma instruments that are flying in the Cassini mission to Saturn. We study the factors that affect the operation and determine the sensitivity of the ion-mass spectrometer (IMS). This is a time-of-flight (TOF) device where the clock is started by electrons ejected when the ion to be analyzed is sent through an ultra thin (~8 nm) carbon foil.  The description of the instrument can be found in Space Sci. Rev., 114, 1 (2004).  Our experimental work on carbon foils was published in Physical Review B58, 2529-2538 (1998).