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Proceedings Paper

Design and development status of the pulse tube cryocoolers for the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS)
Author(s): Kenneth E. Green; Ronald G. Ross; Christopher R. Miller
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Paper Abstract

The atmospheric infrared sounder (AIRS) is being developed for the NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) program with a scheduled launch on the first post meridian (PM-1) platform in the year 2000. AIRS is designed to provide both new and more accurate data about the atmosphere, land and oceans for application to climate studies and weather prediction. Among the important parameters to be derived from AIRS observations are atmospheric temperature profiles with an average accuracy of 1 K in 1 kilometer (km) layers in the troposphere and surface temperatures with an average accuracy of 0.5 K. The AIRS measurement technique is based on very sensitive passive infrared remote sensing using a precisely calibrated, high spectral resolution grating spectrometer operating in the 3.7 micrometer - 15.4 micrometer region. The instrument utilizes a cryogenically cooled infrared spectrometer that uses a pair of pulse tube cryocoolers operating at 55 K to cool the HgCdTe focal plane detectors to 58 K. The instrument also has cryoradiators operating at 190 K and 150 K to cool the spectrometers' optical bench to 155 K. The cryocooler system is a highly integrated part of the AIRS instrument development whose design is focused to maximize the overall performance of the instrument. This paper provides a brief description of the AIRS instrument design and focuses on the results achieved to date on the development and integration of the pulse tube cryocoolers into this demanding instrument. In particular, the paper describes the cooler cryogenic and the overall thermal performance of the cryocooler. The thermal characteristics of the cooler system with the cold link coupling assembly also are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 October 1997
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3122, Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing V, (23 October 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.292694
Show Author Affiliations
Kenneth E. Green, Lockheed Martin IR Imaging Systems (United States)
Ronald G. Ross, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Christopher R. Miller, Lockheed Martin IR Imaging Systems (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3122:
Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing V
Marija Strojnik; Bjorn F. Andresen, Editor(s)

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