Cassini instruments

Cassini
Cassini-Huygens passing through the gap in the rings

To gather as much science as possible during its historic mission to the Saturnian system, the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft is equipped with 18 instruments, 12 on the Cassini orbiter and six on the Huygens probe.

Many of these sophisticated instruments are capable of multiple functions, and the data that they gather will be studied by scientists worldwide.

Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) explores plasma (highly ionised gas) within and near Saturn's magnetic field.

Cosmic Dust Analyser (CDA) studies ice and dust grains in and near the Saturn system.

Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) measures infrared energy from the surfaces, atmospheres and rings of Saturn and its moons to study their temperature and compositions.

Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) examines neutral and charged particles near Titan, Saturn and moons to learn more about their extended atmospheres and ionospheres.

Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) takes pictures in visible, near-ultraviolet and near-infrared light.

Dual-Technique Magnetometer (MAG) studies Saturn's magnetic field and its interactions with the solar wind, the rings and the moons of Saturn.

Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI) images Saturn's magnetosphere and measures interactions between the magnetosphere and the solar wind, a flow of ionised gases streaming out from the Sun..

Cassini Radar (RADAR) maps surface of Titan using radar imager to pierce veil of haze. Also used to measure heights of surface features.

Radio and Plasma Wave Spectrometer (RPWS) investigates plasma waves (generated by ionised gases flowing out from the Sun or orbiting Saturn), natural emissions of radio energy and dust.

Radio Science Subsystem (RSS) searches for gravitational waves in the Universe; studies the atmosphere, rings and gravity fields of Saturn and its moons by measuring telltale changes in radio waves sent from the spacecraft.

Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) measures ultraviolet energy from atmospheres and rings to study their structure, chemistry and composition.

Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) identifies the chemical compositions of the surfaces, atmospheres and rings of Saturn and its moons by measuring colours of visible light and infrared energy emitted or reflected.

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