Infrared sounders measure the upwelling radiation of the Earth in the Midwave Infrared (MWIR) and Longwave Infrared (LWIR) region of the spectrum with global daily coverage from space. The observed radiances are assimilated into weather forecast models and used to retrieve lower tropospheric temperature and water vapor for climate studies. There are several operational sounders today including the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on Aqua, the Crosstrack Infrared Sounder (CrIS) on Suomi NPP and JPSS, and the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) on the MetOp spacecraft. The CubeSat Infrared Atmospheric Sounder (CIRAS) is a NASA In-flight Validation of Earth Science Technologies (InVEST) program to demonstrate three new instrument technologies in an imaging sounder configuration. The first is a 2D array of High Operating Temperature Barrier Infrared Detector (HOT-BIRD) material, selected for its high uniformity, low cost, low noise and higher operating temperatures than traditional materials. The detectors are hybridized to a commercial ROIC and commercial camera electronics. The second technology is a MWIR Grating Spectrometer (MGS) designed to provide imaging spectroscopy for atmospheric sounding in a CubeSat volume. The MGS employs an immersion grating or grism, has no moving parts, and is based on heritage spectrometers including the OCO- 2. The third technology is a Black Silicon infrared blackbody calibration target. The Black Silicon offers very low reflectance over a broad spectral range on a flat surface and is more robust than carbon nanotubes. JPL will also develop the mechanical, electronic and thermal subsystems for the CIRAS payload. The spacecraft will be a commercially available CubeSat. The integrated system will be a complete 6U CubeSat capable of measuring temperature and water vapor profiles with good lower tropospheric sensitivity. The low cost of CIRAS enables multiple units to be flown to improve temporal coverage or measure 3D Atmospheric Motion Vector (AMV) winds. CIRAS will launch in 2019 and is only a technology demonstration. However, what we learn will benefit future instruments that support operational weather forecasting and climate studies.