MIDAS (Micro-Imaging Dust Analysis System) studies the dust environment around the comet and the asteroids that were visited during the journey. In particular, MIDAS performs microanalysis of cometary dust particles. The instrument is based on the technique of atomic force microscopy, whereby a tiny needle is scraped across the surface of a sample and the deflection of the needle is used to build an image. This technique should allow features of as little as 4 nm (2500 times smaller than the average width of a human hair) to be seen under the conditions expected.
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