GIADA – Grain Impact Analyzer and Dust Accumulator – is one of the payloads on-board Rosetta Orbiter. Its aim is to characterize the dust environment and its evolution in the cometary coma.
GIADA consists of three sub-systems:
(1) The Grain Detection System (GDS), an optical device counting the individual grains and measuring their optical cross-section. It detects the transit of each single grain entering GIADA and crossing a laser curtain, with no effects on its dynamical properties.
(2) The Impact Sensor (IS), a device devoted to the measurement of the momentum of each single grain impacting the sensitive surface constituted by an aluminum plate connected to five piezoelectric sensors. The IS is placed below the GDS, at a distance of 100 mm. The coupled detection of an individual dust grain by GDS+IS provides its speed and mass.
(3) The Micro Balance System (MBS) is constituted by five Quartz Micro Balances (QCMs). The five QCMs point towards different space directions and measure the cumulative deposition in time of dust grains smaller than 10 micron.
The GIADA Proto Flight Model (PFM) is housed now into a clean room at the INAF-Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali (IAPS), in Rome. The GIADA PFM is presently used to perform calibration activities necessary to the data interpretation that will be collected by GIADA during the Rosetta scientific phase, starting in May 2014.