The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) is a hyperspectral infrared instrument on the EOS Aqua Spacecraft, launched
on May 4, 2002. AIRS has 2378 infrared channels ranging from 3.7 μm to 15.4 μm and a 13.5 km footprint at nadir.
The AIRS is a “facility” instrument developed by NASA as an experimental demonstration of advanced technology for
remote sensing and the benefits of high resolution infrared spectra to science investigations. AIRS, in conjunction with
the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU), produces temperature profiles with 1K/km accuracy on a global
scale, as well as water vapor profiles and trace gas amounts for CO2, CO, SO2, O3 and CH4. AIRS data are used for
weather forecasting, climate process studies and validating climate models. The AIRS instrument has far exceeded its
required design life of 5 years, with over 10 years of operations as of September 2012. While the instrument has
performed exceptionally well, with little signs of wear, the AIRS Project continues to monitor and maintain the health of
AIRS, characterize its behavior and improve performance where possible. Radiometric stability has been monitored and
trending shows better than 16 mK/year stability. Spectral calibration stability is better than 1 ppm/year, and a new gain
table was recently uploaded to recover 100 significantly degraded or dead channels by switching to their redundant
counterpart. At this time we expect the AIRS to continue to perform well for the next decade.