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18 November 1998 Development status of the cryocooler and thermal management system for the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS)
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The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) is being developed for the NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) program with a scheduled launch on the first post meridian (PM-1) platform in the year 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 prediction. 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 very sensitive passive infrared remote sensing using a precisely calibrated, high spectral resolution grating spectrometer operating in the 3.7 micrometer - 15.4 micrometer region. The instrument utilizes a cryogenically cooled infrared spectrometer that uses a pair of pulse tube cryocoolers operating at 55 K to cool the HgCdTe focal plane detectors to 58 K. The instrument also has a two- stage radiator operating at 190 K and 150 K to cool the spectrometer's optical bench and separate spacecraft supplied cooling plate system for removal of waste heat at 300 K. The cryocooler system is a highly integrated part of the AIRS Instrument development whose design is focused to maximize the overall performance of the instrument. The breadth of this paper provides a brief description of the AIRS Instrument design and centralizes on the recent results of the cryocoolers integration with the instrument focal plane assembly and spectrometer. The principal emphasis of this paper will be the current cryocooler system level performance achieved, to-date. Furthermore, this paper shall provide the 'to-date' preliminary acceptance test performance data on the recently received AIRS flight model cryocooler.
© (1998) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Heather A. Wickman-Boisvert, Kenneth E. Green, Christopher R. Miller, and Roger C. Coda "Development status of the cryocooler and thermal management system for the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS)", Proc. SPIE 3437, Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing VI, (18 November 1998);

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