Proposal Title: AIRS-Light
The proposed AIRS-Light program will demonstrate the last enabling technology and provide a detailed concept design for a space-based instrument which meets all current Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument functional requirements with significantly reduced instrument size, weight, power allocation, and cost. This Instrument Incubator Program will take maximum advantage of both LMIRIS' and the government's investment in AIRS and the Integrated Multispectral Atmospheric Sounder (IMAS) technologies to develop the AIRS Light design.
The EOS PM-1 AIRS flight instrument, planned for launch in December 2000, is the only sounder which is designed to meet the Interagency Temperature Working Group (ITWG) atmospheric measurement requirements of 1 K and 1 Km. The goal for the AIRS Light instrument is to leverage highly the AIRS design to provide an instrument weight of less than 100 kg, a power budget of less than 100 watts, and be compatible with the projected NPOESS operational spacecraft.
In the past two years, LMIRIS has developed a concept design for a compact, lightweight, low power, thermally independent combined IR and Microwave instrument. The AIRS-Light instrument will be based on this work. It will provide coverage from 3.7 to 15.4 microns with a spectral resolving power of 1200. The cross track scanning instrument will provide cross track atmospheric sample footprints identical to the AIRS instrument.
Under the IIP, we propose to develop the concept design, as well as advanced very long wavelength components of an all multiplexed focal plane using photovolatic HgCdTe detectors. In addition, a laboratory demonstration will be conducted with the new VLWIR detector in a low heat leak dewar, coupled with a mini-cooler. This is intended to verify thermal performance in a simulated operating instrument environment, high detector sensitivity in the presence of the operating cooler, as well as sufficient linearity and dynamic range of the instrument.