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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 03 Sep 2018

Research article | 03 Sep 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

A new method to infer the size, number density, and charge of mesospheric dust from its in situ collection by the DUSTY probe

Ove Havnes1, Tarjei Antonsen1, Gerd Baumgarten2, Thomas W. Hartquist3, Alexander Biebricher4, Åshild Fredriksen1, Martin Friedrich5, and Jonas Hedin6 Ove Havnes et al.
  • 1Institute of Physics and Technology, Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
  • 2Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics at Rostock University, Kühlungsborn, Germany
  • 3School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  • 4Norwegian Center for Space-related Education, N-8480 Andenes, Norway
  • 5Graz University of Technology, 8010 Graz, Austria
  • 6Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract. We present a new extended method of analyzing measurements of mesospheric dust made with DUSTY rocket-borne Faraday cup probes. It yields the variation of fundamental dust parameters through a mesospheric cloud with an unrivalled altitude resolution down to 10cm or less. A DUSTY probe was the first probe which unambiguously detected charged dust/aerosol particles in the Earth's mesosphere. DUSTY excluded the ambient plasma by various biased grids, which however allowed dust particles with radii above a few nanometer to enter, and it measured the flux of charged dust particles. The flux measurements directly yielded the total ambient dust charge density.

We extend the analysis of DUSTY data by using the impact currents on its main grid and the bottom plate as before, together with a dust charging model and a secondary charge production model, to allow the determination of fundamental parameters, such as dust radius, charge number and total dust density. We demonstrate the utility of the new analysis technique by considering observations made with the DUSTY probes during the MAXIDUSTY rocket campaign in June–July 2016 and comparing the results with those of other instruments (Lidar and photometer) also used in the campaign.

Ove Havnes et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Ove Havnes et al.
Ove Havnes et al.
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Short summary
We present a new method of analysing data from rocket-borne aerosol detectors of the Faraday cup type (DUSTY). By using models for how aerosols are charged in the mesosphere and how they interact in a collision with the probes, fundamental parameters like aerosol radius, charge and number density can be derived. The resolution can be down to ~ 10 cm, which is much lower than other available methods. The theory is furthermore used to analyse DUSTY data from the 2016 rocket campaign MAXIDUSTY.
We present a new method of analysing data from rocket-borne aerosol detectors of the Faraday cup...