Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry (PIXL) Laboratory

PIXL Lab Information
Top:  The PIXL laboratory at JPL
Bottom:  PIXL breadboard map, left, (and summed spectrum, right) of Proterozoic reduction spot (potential biosignature), showing local concentrations of V and other elements suggesting biological activity.

The PIXL Lab is where PIXL non-flight units and subsystems are tested, characterized and used for science research:

  • Breadboard PIXL in ambient environment
  • Brassboard PIXL in Mars simulant chamber
  • Portable Micro-XRF (Bruker Artax-800)
  • Videoconferencing capability


Science questions for Mars 2020:

  1. Provide detailed geochemical assessment of past environments, habitability and preservation potential
  2. Detect potential chemical biosignatures and characterize the geochemistry of other types of potential biosignatures detected
  3. Provide a detailed geochemical basis for selection of a compelling set of samples for return to Earth
Personnel / Contacts: 
Ongoing Research Projects: