Occultation observations of Saturn's rings with Cassini VIMS

Research areas:
Year:
2020
Keywords:
Occultations; Saturn; Rings; Dynamics
Authors:
  • Philip D. Nicholson
  • Todd Ansty
  • Matthew M. Hedman
  • Douglas Creel
  • Johnathon Ahlers
  • Rebecca A. Harbison
  • Robert H. Brown
  • Roger N. Clark
  • Kevin H. Baines
  • Bonnie J. Buratti
  • Christophe Sotin
  • Sarah V. Badman
Journal:
Icarus
Volume:
344
Pages:
113356
Month:
July
ISSN:
0019-1035
Abstract:
We describe the prediction, design, execution and calibration of stellar and solar occultation observations of Saturn's rings by the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) instrument on the Cassini spacecraft. Particular attention is paid to the technique developed for onboard acquisition of the stellar target and to the geometric and photometric calibration of the data. Examples of both stellar and solar occultation data are presented, highlighting several aspects of the data as well as the different occultation geometries encountered during Cassini's 13-year orbital tour. Complete catalogs of ring stellar and solar occultations observed by Cassini-VIMS are presented, as a guide to the standard data sets which have been delivered to the Planetary Data System's Ring Moon Systems Node (Hedman and Nicholson, 2019b).