The aim of NEWTON project is the design, development and test of a scientific instrument for future exploration missions based on a new technology that can perform on-site measurement of the magnetic susceptibility (real and imaginary part). The final objective is to provide a first and unique technology capable of performing a complete characterisation of the rocks based on magnetic measurements. This is done with a 100% European consortium that integrates scientific teams with engineering and industrial partners including significant SME representation. The work is conducted following three main steps: the first one is to make the design and development of the instrument; the second is to assess its performance in the laboratory; finally, the third one is to validate the instrument in a real environment.The NEWTON instrument includes recurrent vector magnetometer, a novel susceptometer, the highly innovative power supply and the electronic box with very challenging a sophisticated frequency generation and shift detection. To this end, the concrete objectives defined for NEWTON project are:
Objective 1: Establish general requirements and use cases for two different scenarios of the planetary exploration: on board rovers (short term) and on board laboratory stations (medium term). Due to the fact that there is no any precedent of such an instrument on Earth, it will be analysed its applicability to Earth sciences and applied geology.
Objective 2: Implementation of a novel instrument for in-situ non-invasive planetary prospecting with three main innovations: 1) a compact susceptibility technology capable to measure real and imaginary parts at different frequencies, 2) novel designs of power systems and 3) highly accurate frequency generation and detection.
Objective 3: To introduce the potential of the multi-sensor instrument in the next planetary mission forums and start the actions for its inclusion as a new payload in the medium term rovers. The appropriateness of the multi-sensor system will be demonstrated through four measurements campaigns in relevant geological sites. Regarding the spin-off of the technology for the society, the feasibility of NEWTON instrument for civil engineering is also demonstrated during the project.