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portrait flag Prof. Frans Rietmeijer,
Meteoritical Institute, University of New Mexico Albuquerque

E-mail: fransjmr [at]

Brief Biographical Information:

Research Faculty Professor, Institute of Meteoritics
Ph.D., Rijksuniversiteit-Utrecht, the Netherlands, 1979.


My research involves the petrology, mineralogy and chemistry of ultrafine-grained sub-millimeter particles in the Earth's atmosphere, in particular in the stratosphere. I use electron microscope techniques to characterize collected dust that includes anthropogenic dust, i.e. fly ash, and volcanic ash to determine their environmental impact. My major interest is focused on studies of collected interplanetary dust particles that are among the oldest materials that have preserved a record of the onset of mineralogical activity in our solar system. My work on this cosmic dust from comets and primitive asteroids, as well as their laboratory-produced analogs, helps us to understand the solar system processes 4.56 Gyrs. ago and it supports planning spacecraft missions to comets and asteroids.

Research on Leonid MAC:

An aerosol/dust collection device was used on board the FISTA aircraft to search for particles from the dust-trail of the comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle in the upper atmosphere, using an existing window eyeball assembly from AFRL/Stewart Radiance Lab.

Research on Hyperseed MAC:

Study of particles ablated from the heat shield.