Articles | Volume 39, issue 3
Regular paper
15 Jun 2021
Regular paper |  | 15 Jun 2021

A comparison of contact charging and impact ionization in low-velocity impacts: implications for dust detection in space

Tarjei Antonsen, Ingrid Mann, Jakub Vaverka, Libor Nouzak, and Åshild Fredriksen

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Cited articles

Adams, N. and Smith, D.: Studies of microparticle impact phenomena leading to the development of a highly sensitive micrometeoroid detector, Planet. Space Sci., 19, 195–204,, 1971. a
Antonsen, T.: In-situ Measurements of Mesospheric Aerosols – On the observable characteristics of nanoscale ice and meteoric smoke particles, Ph.D. thesis, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, 2019. a, b
Antonsen, T. and Havnes, O.: On the detection of mesospheric meteoric smoke particles embedded in noctilucent cloud particles with rocket-borne dust probes, Rev. Sci. Instrum., 86, 033305,, 2015. a, b
Antonsen, T., Havnes, O., and Mann, I.: Estimates of the Size Distribution of Meteoric Smoke Particles From Rocket-Borne Impact Probes, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 122, 12353–12365,, 2017. a, b, c
Antonsen, T., Havnes, O., and Spicher, A.: Replication Data for: Multi-scale Measurements of Mesospheric Aerosols and Electrons During the MAXIDUSTY campaign, DataverseNO [Dataset], (last access: 11 June 2021), 2018. a
Short summary
This paper discusses the charge generation for impacts of nano- to micro-scale dust on metal surfaces at speeds below a few kilometres per second. By introducing a model of capacitive coupling between the dust and the impact surface, we find that at such low speeds, the charge can be dominated by contact charging as opposed to plasma generation.