The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) is an advanced sounder containing 2378 infrared channels and four visible/near-infrared channels, aimed at obtaining highly accurate temperature profiles within the atmosphere plus a variety of additional Earth/atmosphere products. AIRS is the highlighted instrument in the AIRS/AMSU-A/HSB triplet centered on measuring accurate temperature and humidity profiles throughout the atmosphere.

Instrument Characteristics

  • High-spectral resolution, grating multispectral infrared sounder operated in a cross-track-scanning mode with AMSU-A and HSB for all weather capabiity.
  • Measure's the Earth's outgoing radiation at 0.4 to 1.0 µm and 3.7 to 15.4 µm.
  • 1 K temperature retrieval accuracy per 1 km layer in the troposphere.
  • 0.05 emissivity accuracy.
  • Array grating spectrometer (3.74 to 15.4 µm), with a spectral resolution of 1200 (λ / Δλ)
Instrument Facts
Responsible Center: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Heritage: Advanced Moisture and Temperature Sounder (AMTS) Study, High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS)
Swath: 1650 km
Spatial Resolution: 13.5 km at horizontal at nadir, 1 km vertical
Mass: 156 kg
Duty Cycle: 100%
Data Rate: 1.44 Mbps
Thermal Control By: Redundant 60 K Stirling cycle coolers, heater, mini thermal bus, two-stage radiator
Thermal Operating Range: 20-25°C
Field of View (FOV): ±49.5°
Instrument Instantaneous FOV: 1.1Å° circular
Pointing Requirements (platform+instrument, 3σ)
Control: 360 arcsec
Knowledge: 180 arcsec
Stability: 360/60 sec
Jitter: TBD
Physical Size: 139.7 x 77.5 x 76.2 cm (stowed), 139.7 x 151.2 x 76.2 cm (deployed)