Abstract

A new instrument, the Probe Infrared Laser Spectrometer (PIRLS), is described for in situ sensing of the gas composition and particle size distribution of Titan’s atmosphere on the NASA/ESA Saturn Orbiter/Titan Probe Cassini Mission. For gas composition measurements, several narrow bandwidth (0.0001 cm−1) tunable lead-salt diode lasers operating near 80 K at selected, mid-IR wavelengths (3–16 μm) are directed over a pathlength defined by a small reflector extending over the edge of the probe spacecraft platform; volume mixing ratios of 10−9 should be measurable for several species of interest. A cloud particle size spectrometer using a diode laser source at 0.78 μm shares the optical path and deployed reflector; a combination of imaging and light scattering techniques will be used to determine sizes of haze and cloud particles and their number density as a function of altitude.

© 1990 Optical Society of America

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