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Titan Flyby - 23 September 2006

Titan Flyby - 23 September 2006

22 September 2006

Only 16 days after Titan-17, Cassini returns to Titan for its nineteenth targeted encounter. The closest approach to Titan occurs on Saturday, 23 September, at 18:59 UT at an altitude of 960 kilometres above the surface and at a speed of 5.8 kilometres per second. The latitude at closest approach is 71°, and the encounter occurs on orbit number 29.

This encounter is set up with two manoeuvres: an apoapsis manoeuvre on 14 September and an approach manoeuvre, on 20 September. This inbound encounter occurs about 2 days before Saturn closest approach.

Science Activities

  • Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS)
    CIRS will perform vertical sounding of stratospheric compounds on Titan, including H2O. CIRS will also obtain information on trace constituents
  • Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS)
    INMS will determine atmospheric and ionospheric composition and thermal structure. INMS will see the transition from co-rotating to thermal particles, down through the ionospheric peak. They will measure neutrals inbound and neutrals and ions outbound.
  • Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS)
    VIMS will perform nested mapping at high, medium and global resolution
  • Cassini Radar (RADAR)
    RADAR will perform a high resolution SAR ride of Titan along with INMS
  • Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS)
    RPWS will perform thermal plasma density and temperature measurements with the Langmuir probe, search for lightning and other radio emissions. It will perform a characterization of the plasma wave spectrum and search for evidence of pickup ions
  • Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI)
    MIMI will investigate micro-scale and near aspects of the Titan interaction by observing during a roughly one hour period around the encounter. Also, MIMI will measure Titan's exosphere/magnetosphere interaction by imaging in ENA with INCA
  • Magnetospheric and Plasma Science (MAPS)
    MAPS in general will make observations of Titan's interaction with Saturn's magnetosphere.

Table of Events

20 September 2006

Time UTC Time wrt
Titan-18
Activity
10:32:00 -03d 08h OTM #73 Prime, Titan-18 minus 3 day targeting manoeuvre

21 September 2006

Time UTC Time wrt
Titan-18
Activity
20:22:00 -02d 23h Start of Sequence S24 which contains Titan-18.
11:22:00 -02d 08h OTM #73 Backup

22 September 2006

Time UTC Time wrt
Titan-18
Activity
20:07:00 -22h 52m Start of the TOST Segment
20:07:00 -22h 52m Turn cameras to Titan
20:37:00 -22h 22m Deadtime, used to accommodate changes in flyby time
20:59:00 -22h 00m Infrared (IR) temperature & composition mapping. Obtain information on thermal structure & composition of atmosphere

23 September 2006

Time UTC Time wrt
Titan-18
Activity
03:59:00 -15h 00m Night imaging, search for & monitor lightning and aurorae
04:59:00 -14h 00m Far IR limb observations. Obtain information on trace constituents in stratosphere
10:29:00 -08h 30m Wide-Angle Camera (WAC) photometry. Study properties & vertical distributions of particles
11:29:00 -07h 30m Ultraviolet imaging. Scan across visible hemisphere to form spectral images
15:59:00 -03h 00m Observations of Titan's interaction with Saturn's magnetosphere (through closest approach). Thermal plasma density & temperature measurements; search lightning & other radio emmissions; characterization of plasma wave spectrum.
16:59:00 -02h 00m Far IR limb observations. Vertical sounding of stratospheric compounds (including H20)
18:13:00 -00h 46m Transition to thrusters. Continue observations through this 21 min transition
18:36:00 -00h 23m Ion & Neutral Mass Spectrometer (through closest approach). Determine atmospheric & ionospheric thermal structure
18:49:00 -00h 10m Titan wake crossing
18:59:00 +00h 00m Titan-18 flyby closest approach time.
Altitude = 960 km, speed = 5.8 kms-1, 90 deg phase at closest approach
19:22:00 +00h 23m Transition back to reaction wheels (21 minutes)
19:45:00 +00h 46m IR composition mapping. High, medium and global resolution

24 September 2006

Time UTC Time wrt
Titan-18
Activity
04:52:00 +09h 53m Imaging in the visible. Study properties & vertical distributions of particles
06:45:00 +11h 46m Deadtime, used to accommodate changes in flyby time
07:30:00 +12h 31m IR observations of Saturn's rings
10:10:00 +15h 11m Turn to Earth-line
10:30:00 +15h 31m Begin playback of T18 data, Goldstone 70m
20:00:00 +01d 01h End playback of T18 data

Observation Results

Cassini Instrument: Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)

Date: 20 February 2007

Credit: NASA/JPL

Image Notes: Full SAR strip obtained during the Titan-18 flyby, from which the two details released on 26 September 2006 were taken

Date: 16 February 2007

Credit: NASA/JPL

Video Notes: Animation of SAR mosaic of data gathered during three flyby's (incl. T18) over Titan's north polar region, with the up to 100 km wide radar-dark patches

Date: 26 September 2006

Credit: NASA/JPL

Image Notes: This view is part of a larger image centred near 74° N, 65° W. The lake measures roughly 20 km by 25 km

Date: 26 September 2006

Credit: NASA/JPL

Image Notes: Image centred near 73° N, 46° W. The radar image shows two joined lakes, both 20-25 km across

Last Update: 1 September 2019
18-Sep-2021 07:27 UT

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