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Electron conductivity and density profiles derived from the mutual impedance probe measurements performed during the descent of Huygens through the atmosphere of Titan

Abstract : During the descent of the Huygens probe through the atmosphere of Titan, on January 14th, 2005, the permittivity, waves and altimetry (PWA) subsystem, a component of the Huygens atmospheric structure instrument (HASI), detected an ionized layer at altitudes around 63 km with two different instruments, the relaxation probe (RP) and the mutual impedance probe (MIP). A very detailed analysis of both data sets is required, in order to correct for environmental effects and compare the two independent estimates of the electrical conductivity. The present work is dedicated to the MIP data analysis. New laboratory tests have been performed to validate or improve the available calibration results. Temperature effects have been included and numerical models of the MIP sensors and electric circuitry have been developed to take into account the proximity of the Huygens probe body. The effect of the vertical motion of the vessel in the ionized atmosphere is estimated in both analytical and numerical ways. The peculiar performance of the instrument in the altitude range 100–140 km is scrutinized. The existence of a prominent ionized layer, and of enhancements in the conductivity and electron density profiles at 63 km, are discussed in the light of previous theoretical predictions.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00157802
Contributor : Catherine Cardon <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 9:57:35 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - 4:36:58 AM

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Michel Hamelin, Christian Béghin, R. Grard, J. J. López-Moreno, K. Schwingenschuh, et al.. Electron conductivity and density profiles derived from the mutual impedance probe measurements performed during the descent of Huygens through the atmosphere of Titan. Planetary and Space Science, Elsevier, 2007, 55 (13), pp.1964-1977. ⟨10.1016/j.pss.2007.04.008⟩. ⟨hal-00157802⟩

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