Ulysses Dust Detector
The Dust Detector for the Ulysses mission was built by Prof. E. Grün and his team at the MPI-Kernphysik in Heidelberg, Germany. Our team at the University of Florida is responsible for daily operation of the instrument.
The instrument is sensitive to submicron particles impacting at several km/s. Hypervelocity impacts produce a plasma that is analyzed by multiple sensors. The craft is orbiting the sun in a plane that is nearly perpenducular to the solar system's velecity vector relative the local intersteller medium. Aphelion (the furthest point from the sun on the orbit) is near Jupiter's orbit. The highly inclined and eccentric orbit takes Ulysses over the Sun's poles and to perihelihelion passage inside the orbit of Venus.
The impact rate of intersteller dust grains depends on the point in the orbit and on time. This shows that the flow of intersteller grains is affected by the solar wind. Sampling of the flow by Ulysses is fully compatible with modulation predicated based on modeling by Gustafson and Misconi, Nature 1979.
A computer generated movie was produced by MPI-K dust team member M. Landgraf using Gustafson's model
of the sensor and the electronics box
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