Alpha Particle Spectrometer(APXS)
Alpha-Particle- X-Ray Spectrometer is used to determine the elemental chemistry of rocks and soils. These findings will complement and constrain the analysis of the other instruments like the Mössbauer Spectrometer and the mini-TES. The analysis done by the APXS is done by directly coming into contact with the Martian rocks and soil. To determine the sample's composition (except hydrogen) alpha particles and x-rays will be used. This will give us information about the crust of the planet, weathering processes and rock forming processes.
This device is placed on the arm of the rover and its sensor head is small enough to hold in your hand. Each measurement is taken at night and will require at least 10 hours of accumulation time (the X-ray itself takes a few hours).