Instrument Investigators Description Some Scientific Objectives

Cassini Plasma Spectrometer

Principal Investigator: David Young

University of Michigan Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences

CAPS includes an ion mass spectrometer providing species-resolved measurements of the flux of positive atomic and molecular ions as a function of energy/charge vs aperture entry direction; an ion beam spectrometer that measures the flux of positive ions of all species as a function of energy/charge and entry direction; and an electron spectrometer to measure the flux of electrons as a function of energy/charge and entry direction. Measure composition of ionized molecules originating from Saturn's ionosphere and Titan, investigate sources and sinks of ionospheric plasma, study effect of magnetospheric- ionospheric interaction on ionospheric flows, and investigate auroral phenomena and Saturn Kilometric Radiation generation;

Determine the configuration of Saturn's magnetic field, investigate plasma domains and internal boundaries, investigate interaction of magnetosphere with solar wind and solar-wind driven dynamics within the magnetosphere, and study the microphysics of bow shock and magnetosheath. Many more objectives.

Mounted on the Fields and Particles Pallet (see the photograph [IMAGE-1] on page [tbd]), CAPS nominally articulates its fields of view back and forth along a 184-degree arc.

More on CAPS

Back to Cassini in the Basics of Space Flight