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11 January 2005 The far-infrared spectroscopy of the troposphere (FIRST) project
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The far-infrared spectroscopy of the troposphere (FIRST) project is under development by NASA through its Instrument Incubator Program (IIP) administered by the Earth Science Technology Office. The objective of the FIRST project is to develop and demonstrate the technology needed to routinely observe from space the far-infrared spectrum between 15 and 100 micrometers in wavelength. This spectral region contains about half of the outgoing longwave radiation from the Earth and its atmosphere and is responsible for about half of the natural greenhouse effect. Radiative cooling of the free troposphere occurs almost exclusively in the far-infrared. The far-infrared emission is modulated almost entirely by water vapor, the main greenhouse gas. Cirrus clouds exhibit significant climate forcing in the far-infrared. Despite this fundamental science, the far-infrared has remained almost unobserved directly, primarily due to technological limitations. The FIRST project is advancing technology in the areas of high throughput interferometers, broad bandpass beamsplitters, and detector focal planes to enable routine measurement of the far-infrared from space. FIRST will conduct a technology demonstration on a high altitude balloon platform in Spring 2005.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
M. G. Mlynczak, D. G. Johnson, G. E. Bingham, K. W. Jucks, W. A. Traub, L. Gordley, and P. Yang "The far-infrared spectroscopy of the troposphere (FIRST) project", Proc. SPIE 5659, Enabling Sensor and Platform Technologies for Spaceborne Remote Sensing, (11 January 2005);

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