TREX addresses Science and Exploration through 4 Themes:
Development of a spectral library of fine-grained planetary materials under relevant environmental conditions. A library of UV-MIR spectra of planetary materials measured in TREX labs under planetary conditions: i.e., under vacuum and at relevant temperatures.
Investigations of fine-grained materials on the lunar surface. Application of Theme 1 lab data to investigate grain sizes, composition and ISRU possibilities using a variety of lunar datasets & modeling.
Investigations of fine-grained materials on the surfaces of small bodies. Application of Theme 1 lab data to investigate grain sizes, composition and ISRU possibilities using a variety of Phobos, Deimos and asteroid datasets & modeling; additional lab work to study space weathering effects.
Decision–making in a fine-grained analog environment. Application of results from Themes 1-3 toward software development and instrument testing for use in the field.