Earth Planets Space, Vol. 65 (No. 3), pp. 167-173, 2013
Masanori Kobayashi1, Takashi Miyachi1, Maki Hattori2, Seiji Sugita2, Seiji Takechi3, and Nagaya Okada4
1Planetary Exploration Research Center, Chiba Institute of Technology, Narashino, Chiba 275-0016, Japan
2Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8582, Japan
3Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka City University, Osaka, Osaka 558-8585, Japan
4Honda Electronics Co., Ltd., Toyohashi, Aichi 411-3193, Japan
(Received January 6, 2012; Revised August 19, 2012; Accepted August 24, 2012; Online published March 12, 2013)
This paper describes the concept of a dust monitor using lead zirconate titanate (PZT) ceramics with a large detection area. Its potential as a dust detector is experimentally demonstrated. The dust monitor has a small volume compared to an impact ionization detector with the same detection area, due to the PZT sensor. The PZT sensor, as a traditional device for the in-situ observation of hypervelocity dust particles, has been used for momentum measurement. The hypervelocity impact signals of PZT sensors are typically read by charge-sensitive amplifiers. Instead, we suggest a new method that a current-to-voltage converting amplifier is useful for interpreting the impact signal of a PZT sensor arising from dust particles down to 0.5 μm in radius. We propose that datasets of dust impacts can be obtained with a higher statistical accuracy, if the new method is applied to instruments on forthcoming interplanetary-space-cruising spacecrafts.
Key words: Dust monitor, piezoelectric sensor, PZT, current-to-voltage converting amplifier.