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PIXL: Planetary Instrument for X-Ray Lithochemistry

Allwood, Abigail C. and Wade, Lawrence A. and Foote, Marc C. and Elam, William Timothy and Hurowitz, Joel A. and Battel, Steven and Dawson, Douglas E. and Denise, Robert W. and Ek, Eric M. and Gilbert, Martin S. and King, Matthew E. and Liebe, Carl Christian and Parker, Todd and Pedersen, David A. K. and Randall, David P. and Sharrow, Robert F. and Sondheim, Michael E. and Allen, George and Arnett, Kenneth and Au, Mitchell H. and Basset, Christophe and Benn, Mathias and Bousman, John C. and Braun, David F. and Calvet, Robert J. and Clark, Benton and Cinquini, Luca and Conaby, Sterling and Conley, Henry A. and Davidoff, Scott and Delaney, Jenna and Denver, Troelz and Diaz, Ernesto and Doran, Gary B. and Ervin, Joan and Evans, Michael and Flannery, David O. and Gao, Ning and Gross, Johannes and Grotzinger, John and Hannah, Brett and Harris, Jackson T. and Harris, Cathleen M. and He, Yejun and Heirwegh, Christopher M. and Hernandez, Christina and Hertzberg, Eric and Hodyss, Robert P. and Holden, James R. and Hummel, Christopher and Jadusingh, Matthew A. and Jørgensen, John L. and Kawamura, Jonathan H. and Kitiyakara, Amarit and Kozaczek, Kris and Lambert, James L. and Lawson, Peter R. and Liu, Yang and Luchik, Thomas S. and Macneal, Kristen M. and Madsen, Soren N. and McLennan, Scott M. and McNally, Patrick and Meras, Patrick L. and Muller, Richard E. and Napoli, Jamie and Naylor, Bret J. and Nemere, Peter and Ponomarev, Igor and Perez, Raul M. and Pootrakul, Napat and Romero, Raul A. and Rosas, Rogelio and Sachs, Jared and Schaefer, Rembrandt T. and Schein, Michael E. and Setterfield, Timothy P. and Singh, Vritika and Song, Eugenie and Soria, Mary M. and Stek, Paul C. and Tallarida, Nicholas R. and Thompson, David R. and Tice, Michael M. and Timmermann, Lars and Torossian, Violet and Treiman, Allan and Tsai, Shihchuan and Uckert, Kyle and Villalvazo, Juan and Wang, Mandy and Wilson, Daniel W. and Worel, Shana C. and Zamani, Payam and Zappe, Mike and Zhong, Fang and Zimmerman, Richard (2020) PIXL: Planetary Instrument for X-Ray Lithochemistry. Space Science Reviews, 216 (8). Art. No. 134. ISSN 0038-6308. doi:10.1007/s11214-020-00767-7.

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Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry (PIXL) is a micro-focus X-ray fluorescence spectrometer mounted on the robotic arm of NASA’s Perseverance rover. PIXL will acquire high spatial resolution observations of rock and soil chemistry, rapidly analyzing the elemental chemistry of a target surface. In 10 seconds, PIXL can use its powerful 120 μm-diameter X-ray beam to analyze a single, sand-sized grain with enough sensitivity to detect major and minor rock-forming elements, as well as many trace elements. Over a period of several hours, PIXL can autonomously raster-scan an area of the rock surface and acquire a hyperspectral map comprised of several thousand individual measured points. When correlated to a visual image acquired by PIXL’s camera, these maps reveal the distribution and abundance variations of chemical elements making up the rock, tied accurately to the physical texture and structure of the rock, at a scale comparable to a 10X magnifying geological hand lens. The many thousands of spectra in these postage stamp-sized elemental maps may be analyzed individually or summed together to create a bulk rock analysis, or subsets of spectra may be summed, quantified, analyzed, and compared using PIXLISE data analysis software. This hand lens-scale view of the petrology and geochemistry of materials at the Perseverance landing site will provide a valuable link between the larger, centimeter- to meter-scale observations by Mastcam-Z, RIMFAX and Supercam, and the much smaller (micron-scale) measurements that would be made on returned samples in terrestrial laboratories.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Grotzinger, John0000-0001-9324-1257
Hodyss, Robert P.0000-0002-6523-3660
Thompson, David R.0000-0003-1100-7550
Additional Information:© 2020 Springer. Received 26 June 2020; Accepted 09 November 2020; Published 19 November 2020. This research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (80NM0018D0004). The authors gratefully acknowledge two anonymous reviewers for their helpful contributions.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:X-ray; Petrology; Mars; Astrobiology
Issue or Number:8
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201202-071232725
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Official Citation:Allwood, A.C., Wade, L.A., Foote, M.C. et al. PIXL: Planetary Instrument for X-Ray Lithochemistry. Space Sci Rev 216, 134 (2020).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:106870
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:02 Dec 2020 17:30
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:57

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