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Proceedings Paper

Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) thermal test program
Author(s): Roger C. Coda; Kenneth E. Green; Thomas McKay; Kenneth Overoye; Heather A. Wickman-Boisvert
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Paper Abstract

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) has been developed for the NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) program with a scheduled launch on the first post meridian (PM-1) platform in December 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 predictions. 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 passive infrared remote sensing using a precisely calibrated, high spectral resolution grating spectrometer providing high sensitivity operation over the 3.7 micrometer - 15.4 micrometer region. To meet the challenge of high performance over this broad wavelength range, the spectrometer is cooled to 155 K using a passive two-stage radiative cooler and the HgCdTe focal plane is cooled to 58 K using a state-of-the-art long life, low vibration Stirling/pulse tube cryocooler. Electronics waste heat is removed through a spacecraft provided heat rejection system based on heat pipe technology. All of these functions combine to make AIRS thermal management a key aspect of the overall instrument design. Additionally, the thermal operating constraints place challenging requirements on the test program in terms of proper simulation of the space environment and the logistic issues attendant with testing cryogenic instruments. The AIRS instrument has been fully integrated and thermal vacuum performance testing is underway. This paper provides an overview of the AIRS thermal system design, the test methodologies and the key results from the thermal vacuum tests, which have been completed at the time of this publication.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 December 1999
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 3759, Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing VII, (6 December 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.372675
Show Author Affiliations
Roger C. Coda, Lockheed Martin IR Imaging Systems (United States)
Kenneth E. Green, Lockheed Martin IR Imaging Systems (United States)
Thomas McKay, Lockheed Martin IR Imaging Systems (United States)
Kenneth Overoye, Lockheed Martin IR Imaging Systems (United States)
Heather A. Wickman-Boisvert, Lockheed Martin IR Imaging Systems (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3759:
Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing VII
Marija Strojnik; Bjorn F. Andresen, Editor(s)

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