23 October 2018 Concepts for next generation grating spectrometer imaging atmospheric sounders from LEO and GEO
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Spaceborne infrared atmospheric sounders measure the spectrum of the upwelling radiance in the infrared with ultra-high spectral resolution. The resolution is sufficient to measure absorption features of atmospheric constituents enabling retrieval of atmospheric temperature and water vapor profiles, surface emission and atmospheric constituents. The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on Aqua launched in May of 2002 was the first hyperspectral grating-based infrared sounder designed for this purpose and is still operational today. AIRS has been followed by the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) on MetOp A and B, and the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) on Suomi NPP and JPSS. All instruments are operating well improving weather forecast and providing a wealth of information about the atmosphere. Additional CrIS and IASI instruments are expected to be launched providing data of this type into the late 2030’s. AIRS, CrIS and IASI are all Low Earth Orbit (LEO) instruments with nominal spatial resolutions of 14km. Future IR sounders must achieve higher spatial and temporal resolution to match improvements in forecast models and be less costly to match anticipated future budget pressures. Higher temporal resolution can be achieved in several ways including operation in Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) or in constellations of LEO satellites. Higher spatial resolution can be achieved using larger format focal plane assemblies in the instruments and larger aperture telescopes. Grating spectrometers are well suited to large format FPAs by allowing a wide field of view in a compact package. They also provide long life and are easy to operate. Concepts for next generation grating spectrometer IR sounders that have been developed over the years at JPL are presented along with technology advancements made to enable these concepts to achieve their stated goals.
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Thomas S. Pagano "Concepts for next generation grating spectrometer imaging atmospheric sounders from LEO and GEO", Proc. SPIE 10780, Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Remote Sensing Technology, Techniques and Applications VII, 1078008 (23 October 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2324606; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2324606

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