Mini-TES provides micro-spacecraft, surface lander, and rover missions with thermophysical data.
Based on the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) TES, the mini-TES is suitable for flyby, orbital, low-altitude, or surface study missions. It separates the fore-optics, spectrometer, and electronics into mission-configurable modules.
Mini-TES will address geologic and atmospheric science objectives by measuring mineralogical and physical properties, and aerosol, condensate, gas, pressure, and temperature. It also could support more detailed Martian atmospheric and surface examination. In possible mission scenarios, low-altitude aircraft or balloons could provide MGS-data-guided site survey with low mass and power instrumentation, followed by surface examination of specific minerals and rocks, and surface-based atmospheric measurements. Mobile instruments could examine features as small as a centimeter.
The mini-TES is manufactured by Raytheon for Arizona State University and was launched on the Mars 2001 Lander Mission.