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12 October 2011 PREMIER's imaging IR limb sounder
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The Imaging IR Limb Sounder (IRLS) is one of the two instruments planned on board of the candidate Earth Explorer Core Mission PREMIER. PREMIER stands for PRocess Exploration through Measurements of Infrared and Millimetrewave Emitted Radiation and is presently under feasibility study by ESA. Emerging from recent enhanced detector and processing technologies IRLS shall, next to a millimetre-wave limb sounder, explore the benefits of three-dimensional limb sounding with embedded cloud imaging capability. Such 3d imaging technology is expected to open a new era of limb sounding that will allow detailed studies of the link between atmospheric composition and climate, since it will map simultaneously fields of temperature and many trace gases in the mid/upper troposphere and stratosphere across a large vertical and horizontal field of view and with relatively high vertical and horizontal resolution. PREMIER shall fly in tandem formation looking backwards to METOP's swath and thereby explore the benefit of 3-dimensional information for meteorological/environmental analyses and climate forcing investigations. As currently planned and if implemented, IRLS will cover a total horizontal field of about 360 km and observe the limb at altitudes between 4 and 52 km. The vertical spatial sampling distance (SSD) will be well below 1 km. It will be run in two different exclusive modes to address scientific questions about atmospheric dynamics and chemistry at spectral samplings of ~1.2 cm-1 and ~0.2 cm-1, respectively. In such configuration IRLS will be composed of an imaging array with about 1800 macro pixels or sub-samples, thereby allowing cloud imaging and rejection at sufficient spatial resolution. We will present an overview of the instrument requirements as derived from the scientific requirements, the present status of the mission, and we will give an overview of the currently identified technology needs and instrument predevelopments.
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Stefan Kraft, Jerome Caron, Jean-Loup Bézy, Roland Meynart, Jörg Langen, Bernardo Carnicero Dominguez, Paolo Bensi, and Pierluigi Silvestrin "PREMIER's imaging IR limb sounder", Proc. SPIE 8176, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XV, 81760A (12 October 2011);

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