Miniature thermal emission spectrometer for the mars exploration rover

Richard James Peralta, Steven Silverman, Duane Bates, Philip Christensen, Greg Mehall, Tom Tourville, Rolph Keehn, George Cannon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


This paper describes the dual-mission Mars 2003 Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) being built by Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing (SBRS) under contract to Arizona State University (ASU). This paper also serves as an update to an earlier paper (Silverman, et al, 1999) for the Mars 2001 Lander. Mini-TES is a single detector Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS), covering the spectral range 5-29 microns (μm) at 10 cm -1 spectral resolution. Scheduled for launch in 2003, one Mini-TES instrument will fly to Mars aboard each of the two missions of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Project (MER). Mini-TES is designed to provide a key minerological remote sensing component of the MER mission, which includes several other science instruments. Originally intended for the Athena Precursor Experiment (APEX) slated for a 2001 launch, the first Mini-TES unit was required to meet a two-year development schedule with proven, flight-tested instrumentation. Therefore, SBRS designed Mini-TES based on proven heritage from the successful Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES), which was launched in 1996 and successfully completed its intended mission of one Martian year (two earth years) with over 100 million spectra collected to date, and counting. Mini-TES occupies only 15% of the volume and is 83% lighter than MGS TES, yet nearly all the design and technology elements of Mini-TES are direct descendants of proven flight components from MGS TES. Relevance of the Mini-TES to MER science, overall design, performance, assembly and test flow as well as details of the hardware fabricated at SBRS, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsA.M. Larar, M.G. Mlynczak
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes
EventOptical Spectroscopic Techniques, Remote Sensing, and Instrumentation for Atmospheric and Space Research IV - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jul 30 2001Aug 2 2001


OtherOptical Spectroscopic Techniques, Remote Sensing, and Instrumentation for Atmospheric and Space Research IV
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Fourier transform spectrometer
  • FTS
  • Mars rover
  • Mars sample return
  • Mineralogy
  • Miniaturization
  • Remote sensing
  • Thermal emissions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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