Development of a low energy ion source for ROSINA ion mode calibration

Rubin, Martin; Altwegg, Kathrin; Jäckel, Annette; Balsiger, Hans (2006). Development of a low energy ion source for ROSINA ion mode calibration. Review of scientific instruments, 77(10), p. 103302. American Institute of Physics 10.1063/1.2358708

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The European Rosetta mission on its way to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko will remain for more than a year in the close vicinity (1 km) of the comet. The two ROSINA mass spectrometers on board Rosetta are designed to analyze the neutral and ionized volatile components of the cometary coma. However, the relative velocity between the comet and the spacecraft will be minimal and also the velocity of the outgassing particles is below 1km∕s. This combination leads to very low ion energies in the surrounding plasma of the comet, typically below 20eV. Additionally, the spacecraft may charge up to a few volts in this environment. In order to simulate such plasma and to calibrate the mass spectrometers, a source for ions with very low energies had to be developed for the use in the laboratory together with the different gases expected at the comet. In this paper we present the design of this ion source and we discuss the physical parameters of the ion beam like sensitivity, energy distribution, and beam shape. Finally, we show the first ion measurements that have been performed together with one of the two mass spectrometers.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
08 Faculty of Science > Other Institutions > Teaching Staff, Faculty of Science

UniBE Contributor:

Rubin, Martin; Altwegg, Kathrin; Jäckel, Annette and Balsiger, Hans


500 Science > 520 Astronomy
600 Technology > 620 Engineering
500 Science > 530 Physics




American Institute of Physics




Martin Rubin

Date Deposited:

04 May 2016 15:03

Last Modified:

04 May 2016 15:03

Publisher DOI:





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