Miniature thermal emission spectrometer for the Mars Exploration Rover

Steven Silverman, Richard Peralta, Philip Christensen, Greg Mehall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This paper describes results of the calibration of the 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 [R.J. Peralta, S. Silverman, D. Bates, Raytheon/Santa Barbara Remote Sensing, P. Christensen, G. Mehall, T. Tourville, R. Keehn, G. Cannon, Arizona State University, Miniature thermal emission spectrometer for the Mars Exploration Rover, Proceedings of the SPIE, vol. 4485-09, August 2001] for mission description and instrument design. Mini-TES is a single detector Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS), covering the spectral range 5 - 29 μ m at 10 cm- 1 spectral resolution. Launched in June 2003, one Mini-TES instrument will fly to Mars aboard each of the two missions of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Project (MER), named Spirit and Opportunity. Mini-TES is designed to provide a key minerological remote sensing component of the MER mission, which includes several other science instruments. 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 is still operational with over 500 million spectra collected to date. Mini-TES design, performance, integration onto the rovers, as well as details of the calibration are discussed. Full instrument and calibration details are the subject of an upcoming Journal of Geophysical Research Mini-TES paper by Christensen, et al.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)990-999
Number of pages10
JournalActa Astronautica
Issue number8-11
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • FTS
  • Fourier transform spectrometer
  • Mars rover
  • Mineralogy
  • Remote sensing
  • Thermal emission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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