ADRON-RM Neutron Detector for ExoMars Project

 

Project's Objectives Вверх

ExoMars is a joint project of Mars exploration implemented under bilateral Agreement between European Space Agency (ESA) and Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). Following a proposed launch in 2018, two landers shall be delivered to Mars: a rover, provided by ESA, and a landing platform with scientific payload, provided by Roscosmos.

ADRON-RM neutron detector will be included in the rover's scientific payload. The goal of the experiment is to analyse hydrogen content (hydrogen as bound water, water ice, or OH (H2O)-radicals) in shallow layer of the Martian surface.

Neutron probing of Martian regolith was performed for the first time in DAN experiment onboard Mars Science Laboratory mission (NASA, Curiosity rover). According to DAN's last results, there is strong correlation between the data obtained using cosmic neutrons and those, which are induced by neutron generator onboard the rover.

The neutron detector consists of two 3He proportional counters. One of them includes cadmium shielding to exclude low-energy neutron fluxes. Simultaneous measurements of neutron fluxes in thermal and epithermal ranges give enough data to estimate the structure of the upper layer of the surface along the rover's traverse. Data on hydrogen compound in various sites during the traverse are crucial to estimate average water ratio (per cent) at the mission's landing site. Another important task is to choose optimal site for drilling, which is to be done together with other instruments onboard.

Design and Mount Вверх

ADRON-RM has a single module design. Its configuration is similar to the one used in DAN-DE module (DAN experiment). As in DAN-DE, ADRON-RM uses industrial proportional counters filled with 3He. The instrument measures 16-channel spectra of thermal and epithermal neutrons in energy range 0.001 eV–100 keV.

ADRON-RM has a single module design. Its configuration is similar to the one used in DAN-DE module (DAN experiment). As in DAN-DE, ADRON-RM uses industrial proportional counters filled with 3He. The instrument measures 16-channel spectra of thermal and epithermal neutrons in energy range 0.001 eV–100 keV. The instrument will be installed inside the rover. ADRON-RM unit will have simple mount with 4 feet. The instrument will be linked by special controlled thermal strap with spacecraft's science deck to avoid overheating or overcooling. Another feature is special heat-insulating stend-offs to minimize external thermal effects. Working temperature of the instrument's feet (-45 to +60 degrees Celsius) will be maintained by spacecraft systems. Electrical and data interfaces are developed according to the project's requirements.

Fig.1. ADRON-RM. General view

Fig.2. ADRON-RM mount inside the rover

Main parameters Вверх

Mass : ~1.7 kg
Power consumption : 5 W
Dimensions : 210 x 48 x 216 mm

Developers and co-executors Вверх

Funding organization — Federal Space Agency of Russian Federation.

Primary contractor — Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IKI RAS).

ADRON-RM Principal Investigator — Dr. Igor Mitrofanov.

Works on ADRON-RM project are led under the State contract №025-8120/13/446 from December 23, 2013.

Works on the ADRON-RM project are planned for 2013–2016 (development, tests, assembling, and instrument delivery; works after 2015 are run within Federal Space Program-2025) and 2016–2022 (operation and data processing).

 
A.A. Blagonravov Institute for Engineering Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences
(IMASH, Moscow)
Design verification and mechanical testing.
Joint Institute for Nuclear Research
(Dubna, Moscow district)
Physical calibrations.
Яндекс.Метрика

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