Once the rocket is sent flying, and releases its free falling units and they in turn set up a cloud of metal microparticles (dust), what will happen?
The dust will interact with the surrounding particle species, that is mostly electrons and positively charged ions (plasma), and from the sun incoming photons. Interaction with these particles will charge the dust, and when the steady state is reached it will end up with a strong positive charge due to the dominance of the photo electric emission that the photons produce.
The ultimate goal of the SCRAP (Scattering of Radar waves on Aerosols in Plasmas) experiment is being able to scatter the electromagnetic waves sent from a radar on the metal dust. How will the particle charging help us with this feat?
The positively charged dust particles will attract electrons and a shielding cloud around the dust particles will be produced and shield these from incoming radiation. Therefore scattering of radiation on the dust particels will be due to the electron density fluctuations that the shielding clouds produce. These electron density fluctuations are finally easy to detect using radars.
/The SCRAP team