Tuesday, July 5, 2011

LDEX in CCLDAS Accelerator

Hi Everyone,

David James and Keith Drake putting
It's been a while.  I'll try to make sure we get more regular updates.  In the meantime, something exciting happened recently, we have LDEX inside the LEIL target chamber and we were firing on it this past weekend (ugh yup, grad students don't get vacation...).  They're still doing some tests on it while it's under vacuum, but will hopefully be done sometime this week.

LEIL under vacuum with the laser
shining onto it
The good news though is that the particle selection unit seems to be doing its job in selecting particles.  We discovered, however, a bunch of particles still made it to LDEX despite the fact that they did not appear on our detectors.

For those who don't know, LDEX is the Lunar Dust EXperiment that will be flying aboard the Lunar Atmosphere and Dusty Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission in 2013.  It can measure the charge and mass of dust particles and will hopefully enlighten us on the density of dusty plasma in the terminator regions of the moon.