The baseline multiaperture echelle spectrometer for the Atmospheric IR Sounder (AIRS) is described in terms of design and applications. The functional requirements for the optical design are set forth including the 1-K measurement goal, the 3.4-15.4 spectral bandpass, and the full global coverage twice daily. The multiaperture spectrometer is compared to the cross-dispersed spectrometer, and the multiaperture model is found to permit specific adjustments to the signal-to-noise ratio. The optical design of the spectrometer is described in terms of the focal-plane constraints, the multiaperture pupil-imaging relay, the spectrometer collimator, and the grating format and efficiency. The multiaperture design is found to have a good spectral-response function, and a 1.2 percent signal change is noted for a 95-percent unpolarized scene. The AIRS instrument is illustrated in its deployment configuration and is concluded to be capable of fulfilling the performance requirements.