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Radioscience Seminars

EE 350 Radioscience Seminar
Professor Howard Zebker
Autumn 2003-2004

Date: Wednesday, November 5, 2003
Time: 4:15 PM – Refreshments at 4:00
Location: Bldg. TC SEQ, Room 101

Cassini Radio Occultation and Bistatic Scattering Experiments Planning
Prof. Essam A. Marouf
Dept. of EE, San Jose State University

Launched almost 6 years ago, the Cassini spacecraft is fast approaching the Saturn system. If all goes well, Cassini will enter into orbit around Saturn on July 1, 2004. In a "tour" consisting of 74 orbits (or revolutions) over the four years duration of the nominal mission (2004-08), Cassini will conduct detailed investigations of Saturn, its ring system, its satellites, and its extended particles and fields environment. The Radio Science instrument (RSS) is one of twelve major scientific instruments on board Cassini that will contribute to this endeavor. Of particular interest here are radio occultation experiments designed to investigate the rings and atmosphere of Saturn and the atmosphere of Titan. Also of interest are bistatic scattering (bistatic-radar) experiments designed to explore the nature of Titan's surface. Cassini orbit geometry strongly impacts achievable performance, placing stringent demands on orbit selection during science integration of the 74 orbits. We review the science drivers for occultation and bistatic orbit selection, present status of the observations in integrated orbits, and assess expected performance. Science integration of the full Cassini tour is expected to be completed by January 2004.