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Meteoroid Penetration Detectors

NSSDCA ID: 1965-060A-01

Mission Name: Pegasus 3
Principal Investigator:Dr. Robert J. Naumann


The meteoroid detectors on this experiment were parallel-plate capacitors that temporarily discharged when penetrated by meteoroids. A total of 416 capacitors formed 208-detector assemblies, which were located on the wings of the spacecraft. Arrays of panels, each panel measuring 51 by 102 cm, were mounted on the frame. Each wing had six frames that provided mounting for 16 panels and one that provided for eight panels, making a total of 208 panels on the satellite. The total area of the detectors was approximately 188 sq m. The outside plates of the capacitors were either 0.4-, 0.2-, or 0.04-mm-thick aluminum. Under the aluminum was a sheet of Mylar plastic. The back surface of the Mylar was coated with a thin layer of copper. The "sandwich" of aluminum, Mylar, and copper was mounted to a soft foam, and, in turn, the larger "sandwich" was mounted to a rigid foam center core. The thickness penetrated provided information about the size of the penetrating meteoroids. Penetration times were recorded to an accuracy of 1 min. Experiment operation was normal.

Alternate Names

  • Pegasus3/MeteoroidPenetrationDetectors

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology (United States)


  • Planetary Science: Small Bodies

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. Kenneth S. CliftonOther InvestigatorNASA Marshall Space Flight
Dr. Robert J. NaumannPrincipal InvestigatorNASA Marshall Space Flight
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