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Micrometeorite Detector

NSSDCA ID: 1964-078C-02

Mission Name: Zond 2
Principal Investigator:Dr. T. N. Nazarova


The Zond 2 Micrometeorite Detector consisted of piezoelectric sensors mounted on the reverse side of the solar panels. i.e. on the side facing away from the Sun. The detectable area exposed to micrometeorite impacts was 1.5 square meters. Signals from the sensor were sent to an amplifier-transformer, which sent the signal's resonance power to a storage device to be transmitted back to Earth. The maximum sensitivity was directly above the sensor, with sensitivity falling off rapidly to less that 20% of the maximum value at a distance of 5 cm from the sensor. The sensitivity stayed between 10% and 20% of the maximum value with little variation out to about 40 cm distance. The sensors responded to impacts of particles with a mass of 0.1 micrograms or more.

The sensors apparently worked by being triggered by (but not counting) the first impact, and then counting all impacts after that in a two-minute window. The counter would continue to operate until a two-minute cycle completed with no impacts, at which time it would only start counting again after an impact was recorded. The sensors were only operated at certain times during the flight for periods ranging from one to two hours.

Alternate Names

  • Zond2/MicrometeoriteDetector


  • Planetary Science: Small Bodies

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. T. N. NazarovaPrincipal InvestigatorRussian Academy of Sciences
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