Instruments carried by Cassini
The Cassini orbiter carries a total of 12 instruments. These instruments are capable of collecting data for 27 different scientific investigations.
The instruments are listed and explained below;
- Cassini Plasma Spectrometer(CAPS)- it is a Direct Sensing instrument. It is used for measuring the energy and electric charge of particles like ions, electrons etc are encountered by the spacecraft. It will be used to measure the molecules that will originate from the ionosphere of Saturn.
- Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA)- this is also a Direct Sensing instrument. This instrument is used to measure the size, speed, and direction of tiny dust particles near Saturn.
- Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS)- it is a remote sensing instrument. It enables the measurement of infrared light, which is emitted by certain objects like the atmosphere and studies its temperature and its composition. The CIRS will measure the infrared light emitted from the atmospheres, rings and surfaces of Saturn. It will study their composition, temperatures and thermal properties.
- Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS)- this is also a Direct Sensing instrument. It will study the charged particles like protons and neutral particles like atoms near the surface of Titan and Saturn to examine their atmospheres.
- Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)- it is a Remote Sensing instrument. It has the ability to take images in visible light as well as infrared and ultraviolet light. This instrument is expected to return many images of Saturn and its rings.
- Dual Technique Magnetometer (MAG)- this is a Direct Sensing instrument. It will measure the strength and direction of the magnetic field that is present around Saturn.
- Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI)- this is both, a Direct and Remote sensing instrument. It is able to take pictures as well as data of the particles present within the magnetic field of Saturn.
- Radio Detection and Ranging Instrument ( RADAR)- this is a Remote Active and Remote Passive instrument. It will measure the height of the objects on the surface of Titan and produce maps indicating its topography. It will do so by sending radio signals on the surface and time their return.
- Radio and Plasma Wave Science instrument (RPWS)- it is a Direct Sensing as well as a Remote Sensing instrument. It receives and measures the radio signals that come from Saturn. This includes the radio waves emitted during the interaction between the solar wind and Saturn and Titan.
- Radio Science Subsystem (RSS) - it is a Remote Sensing instrument.
- Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS)- it is a Remote Sensing instrument. It captures pictures of ultraviolet light, which is emitted by different objects and enable studies about their composition and structure.
- Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS)- it is a Remote Sensing Instrument. VIMS capture pictures that use visible and infrared light. This enables studies about the composition of moon surfaces, the rings, and the atmospheres of Saturn and Titan. VIMS also observe the sunlight and starlight that passes through the rings to learn more about the structure of the rings.
Let us now see the instruments carried by huygens probe