DUSTER . Aerosol collection in the stratosphere
The DUSTER (Dust in the Upper Stratosphere Tracking Experiment and Retrieval) project is aimed at uncontaminated collection and retrieval of stratospheric solid aerosol particles, in the submicron/micron range. The approach implies: 1) in-situ particles collection; 2) sample recovering; and 3) laboratory analyses, without sample manipulation among the three phases. The aim is to derive: the dust size distribution, the concentration and the mineralogy of stratospheric aerosols. Isotopic abundance can also be measured on single particles for the identification of parent processes. These data are complementary to in-situ measurements (particle counter, gas analyzer) and remote-sensing observations (spectrometer, LIDAR). Dust chemical composition and size distribution lead to the definition of the particles optical properties, essential not only to evaluate and model the radiation balance, but also to interpret optical counter, LIDAR and spectral data. The collection has also an astrophysical interest: the stratospheric aerosol extraterrestrial component will be analysed in laboratory. The DUSTER prototype had a qualification flight in January 2006. A miniaturised version of DUSTER is under realisation and will fly in 2008.
Memorie della Societa Astronomica Italiana
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- interplanetary & volcanic dust;
- stratospheric aerosol collection