ALBANY, N.Y., March 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- There was a sense of cheer in the air the afternoon of February 18th, 2021, as a successful mission to Mars has just been accomplished by NASA's Perseverance Rover. With millions watching the event via live stream, Perseverance touched down in the Red Planet's Jezero Crater at 3:56 pm Eastern Time.
XOS, a technology company based out of East Greenbush, New York, proudly plays a role in the mission, supplying the rover's custom polycapillary X-ray focusing optics. A micro-XRF (micro-X-ray fluorescence) instrument on the Perseverance, called PIXL (Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry), is mounted at the end of the rover's robotic arm and houses the XOS optic. This instrument will be used in conjunction with a camera system to measure compositions of various chemical elements in rocks, soils, and more on Mars, and along with six other scientific instruments on the rover, it will work to search for - and hopefully discover - evidence of past life on Mars.
In addition to the application of elemental mapping, as in the case of seeking evidence of past life on Mars, Micro-XRF is also used in applications such as plating thickness, forensics, and cultural heritage. Its non-destructive nature and minimal sample preparation make it ideal for sensitive elemental analysis applications. The use of polycapillary X-ray optics has dramatically changed the analytical speed of micro-XRF analysis, supplying accurate and reliable measurement results in hours, as compared to the days-long wait of more conventional approaches.
Visit xos.com/mars2020 for more information on micro-XRF, polycapillary optics, and XOS' part in Perseverance's mission.
XOS is a global leading provider of advanced optics and OEM sub-systems that greatly improve the measurement speed, precision, and sensitivity of X-ray analytical instrumentation. XOS' polycapillary optics can be used in many applications, including plating thickness, forensics, cultural heritage, and elemental mapping. fleX-Beam™, our latest compact X-ray generator solution, combines a low-powered X-ray source and precisely aligned polycapillary optic to deliver a bright X-ray beam for advanced material analysis. The innovative optic mounting and alignment design enables an easy X-ray tube and/or optic replacement, making it a user-friendly tool for both OEMs and end users.