Mercury Dust Monitor (MDM) for BepiColombo
BepiColombo was launched in October 2018. After about 7-years cruise in interplanetary space, BepiColombo will reach Mercury position in 2025 and will start observation in the orbit around Mercury for one year. The Mercury Dust Monitor (MDM) has been installed on the side panel of Mio (the Mercury Magnetosphere Orbiter or MMO) of the BepiColombo probe. We expect to detect about 1 dust particle per day of interplanetary dust and about 10 dust particles per day of impact ejecta particles around Mercury. MDM measures only the impact force (momentum of dust) at the time of dust particle collision with the sensor, but the type of dust and the approximate orbit are estimated by considering the position of detection, velocity, spin angle of the MMO. PERC is responsible for sensor calibration, development testing, data analysis and so on. We are currently preparing for observation operation at Mercury.
Principal Staff Scientist, Planetary Exploration Research Center, Chiba Institute of Technology
TEL/FAX: +81-47-478-4733 / +81-47-478-0372