Ion densities and composition of Titan's upper atmosphere derived from the Cassini Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer: Analysis methods and comparison of measured ion densities to photochemical model simulations
2012 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research, ISSN 0148-0227, E-ISSN 2156-2202, Vol. 117, E10006- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The Cassini Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) has measured both neutral and ion species in Titan's upper atmosphere and ionosphere and the Enceladus plumes. Ion densities derived from INMS measurements are essential data for constraining photochemical models of Titan's ionosphere. The objective of this paper is to present an optimized method for converting raw data measured by INMS to ion densities. To do this, we conduct a detailed analysis of ground and in-flight calibration to constrain the instrument response to ion energy, the critical parameter on which the calibration is based. Data taken by the Cassini Radio Plasma Wave Science Langmuir Probe and the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer Ion Beam Spectrometer are used as independent measurement constraints in this analysis. Total ion densities derived with this method show good agreement with these data sets in the altitude region (similar to 1100-1400 km) where ion drift velocities are low and the mass of the ions is within the measurement range of the INMS (1-99 Daltons). Although ion densities calculated by the method presented here differ slightly from those presented in previous INMS publications, we find that the implications for the science presented in previous publications is mostly negligible. We demonstrate the role of the INMS ion densities in constraining photochemical models and find that (1) cross sections having high resolution as a function of wavelength are necessary for calculating the initial photoionization products and (2) there are disagreements between the measured ion densities representative of the initial steps in Titan photochemistry that require further investigation.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 117, E10006- p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-185188DOI: 10.1029/2012JE004139ISI: 000309833000001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-185188DiVA: diva2:571492