Chang'E 3 Special Issue

Data processing for the Active Particle-induced X-ray Spectrometer and initial scientific results from Chang’e-3

Xiao-Hui Fu, Chun-Lai Li, Guang-Liang Zhang, Yong-Liao Zou, Jian-Jun Liu, Xin Ren, Xu Tan, Xiao-Xia Zhang, Wei Zuo, Wei-Bin Wen, Wen-Xi Peng, Xing-Zhu Cui, Cheng-Mo Zhang, Huan-Yu Wang


Abstract The Active Particle-induced X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) is an important payload mounted on the Yutu rover, which is part of the Chang’e-3 mission. The scientific objective of APXS is to perform in-situ analysis of the chemical composition of lunar soil and rock samples. The radioactive sources, 55Fe and 109Cd, decay and produce α-particles and X-rays. When X-rays and α-particles interact with atoms in the surface material, they knock electrons out of their orbits, which release energy by emitting X-rays that can be measured by a silicon drift detector (SDD). The elements and their concentrations can be determined by analyzing their peak energies and intensities. APXS has analyzed both the calibration target and lunar soil once during the first lunar day and again during the second lunar day. The total detection time lasted about 266 min and more than 2000 frames of data records have been acquired. APXS has three operating modes: calibration mode, distance sensing mode and detection mode. In detection mode, work distance can be calculated from the X-ray counting rate collected by SDD. Correction for the effect of temperature has been performed to convert the channel number for each spectrum to X-ray energy. Dead time correction is used to eliminate the systematic error in quantifying the activity of an X-ray pulse in a sample and derive the real count rate. We report APXS data and initial results during the first and second lunar days for the Yutu rover. In this study, we analyze the data from the calibration target and lunar soil on the first lunar day. Seven major elements, including Mg, Al, Si, K, Ca, Ti and Fe, have been identified. Comparing the peak areas and ratios of calibration basalt and lunar soil the landing site was found to be depleted in K, and have lower Mg and Al but higher Ca, Ti, and Fe. In the future, we will obtain the elemental concentrations of lunar soil at the Chang’e-3 landing site using APXS data.


Keywords data analysis — composition — Moon

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