|Operator||European Space Agency|
|Manufacturer||Russian Space Research Institute|
|Instrument type||neutron spectrometer|
|Function||hydrogen and H2O detector|
|Mission duration||≥ 7 months|
|Spacecraft||Rosalind Franklin rover|
|Launch date||August–October 2022|
ADRON-RM (Autonomous Detector of Radiation of Neutrons Onboard Rover at Mars) is a neutron spectrometer to search for subsurface water ice and hydrated minerals. This analyser is part of the science payload on board the European Space Agency's Rosalind Franklin rover, tasked to search for biosignatures and biomarkers on Mars. The rover is planned to be launched in August–October 2022 and land on Mars in spring 2023.
ADRON-RM is a near copy of ADRO-EM on the stationary ExoMars 2020 surface platform and the Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) neutron detector on board NASA's Curiosity rover, all designed by Igor Mitrofanov from the Russian Space Research Institute (IKI).
ADRON-RM is a neutron spectrometer that will search for hydrogen in the form of bound water or water ice, and hydrogen-bearing compounds. It will be used in combination with WISDOM instrument (a ground-penetrating radar) to study the subsurface beneath the rover and to search for optimal sites for drilling and sample collection. It can also detect trace elements such as Gd and major elements that constitute soil, such as Cl, Fe, Ti. It will also monitor the neutron component of the radiation background on Mars' surface.
|Power consumption||5 W|
|Dimensions||≈ 4 × 20 × 21 cm|
|Energy range for CETN[a]||0.4 eV - 1 keV|
|Energy range for CTN[b]||≤ 1 keV|
|Detectors||Two 3He proportional counters|
|Accumulation period||20 sec (changeable)|
The Principal Investigator is Igor Mitrofanov from the Russian Space Research Institute (IKI). The instrument is almost a reproduction of the Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) neutron detector on board NASA's Curiosity rover also developed in Russia. Mitrofanov is also developing the active gamma and neutron spectrometer, ADRON-EM (Active Detection of Radiation of Nuclei-ExoMars) for the stationary Kazachok lander—the primary goal of which will be to measure water distribution in the Martian subsurface. Measurements by ADRON-RM and ADRON-EM will work in synergy with other ExoMars instruments.
ADRON-RM uses two 3He proportional counters with a cylindrical shape of about 25 mm in diameter and 55 mm in total length. Each counter is filled with 3He gas under 4 atmospheres of pressure. Each neutron detector will measure two 32-channel spectra. The data will be obtained as routine and passive measurements, which will not be saved but will be immediately transmitted from the instrument to the rover computer. This means that all ADRON-RM measurements will be performed only when the 'Rover Compute Element' is active (daytime).
ADRON-RM is installed inside the ExoMars rover body at the rear balcony. The height above the surface is 0.8 m (2.6 ft).
The stated objectives of the ADRON-RM scientific investigation include: