Author(s): , , , , , ,
Institution(s): 1. IRAP, Univ. Toulouse, 2. LPC2E, Univ. Orléans, 3. NASA/JPL, CALTEC, 4. Space Telescope Science Institute, 5. Univ. Bern, 6. UPMC (Sorbonne Univ.)
Polarimetric astronomical observations on dust clouds and regolithic surfaces require laboratory simulations on samples to provide information on properties (size distribution, porosity, refractive index) of the scattering media. Similarly, in-situ radar investigations in the solar system require laboratory studies on samples to infer physical properties (e.g. porosity, ice/dust ratio) of sub-surfaces and interiors. Recent developments are illustrated with present studies related to the Rosetta mission, which begun its rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimeko (C-G) and landed the Philae module on its nucleus in 2014.
We will summarize laboratory simulations with the PROGRA2 suite of instruments that study (in the visible to near IR domain) the polarimetric properties of dust samples in microgravity conditions or on surfaces , with emphasis on the interpretation of polarimetric observations of C-G, during its previous perihelion passages from Earth observatories, and currently from HST [2,3]. The presence of large dust particles in the pre-perihelion coma previously inferred from remote observations agrees with Rosetta ground truth . We will also present measurements on the permittivity (in the millimeter to meter domain) of various dust samples, with emphasis on porous samples [5,6]. Results provide constraints on the properties of the subsurface and interior of C-G, as explored by MIRO on Rosetta and CONSERT on Philae.
Such studies are relevant for the interpretation of polarimetric observations of other dust clouds (e.g. debris disks, interplanetary dust cloud, clouds in planetary atmospheres) and surfaces (e.g. planets, moons), as well as for those of other radar characterization studies (e.g. Mars, moons, asteroids).
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