DAN Instrument Information

DAN is an active/passive neutron spectrometer that measures the abundance and depth distribution of materials that include Hydrogen or OH-Groups (Absorbed water, hydrated minerals, etc.) in a shallow layer of Mars’ subsurface along the path of the rover. When in its active mode, DAN measures the time decay curve (= the dynamic albedo) of the neutron flux coming from the subsurface introduced by its 14 MeV neutron source. DAN is contributed by the Federal Space Agency of Russia.

The instrument will be used during rover traverses (e.g. short stops at 1m intervals) and while the vehicle is in parking mode. Short duration measurements of less than 2 minutes will be sufficient to provide a rough estimate of the water-equivalent hydrogen distribution with an accuracy of around 1% by weight. Long duration measurements of about 30 minutes will be performed to derive the vertical distribution at an accuracy of 0.1 to 0.3% in weight.

The DAN Instrument suite is 204 by 61 by 212 millimeters in size with a weight of 2.6 kilograms

Photo: NASA/JPL/Roscosmos
Photo: NASA/JPL/Roscosmos

DAN Objectives

  1. Detect and provide quantitative information of the Hydrogen in the subsurface
  2. Investigate the upper subsurface to a depth of 0.5m and determine the potential layering structure of Hydrogen bearing materials
  3. Track the variability of Hydrogen content in the upper soil layer to a depth of 1m during periodic analyses
  4. Track the Variability of neutron radiation background (particles with energy larger than 100keV) during periodic analyses