The Extended-range Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (E-AERI) is a moderate resolution (1 cm−1) Fourier
transform infrared spectrometer for measuring the absolute downwelling infrared spectral radiance from the atmosphere between 400 and 3000 cm−1. The extended spectral range of the instrument permits monitoring of the 400–550 cm−1 (20–25 μm) region, where much of the infrared surface cooling currently occurs in the dry air of the Arctic. The E-AERI provides information about radiative balance, trace gases, and cloud properties in the Canadian high Arctic. The instrument was installed at the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) Ridge Lab at Eureka, Nunavut, in October 2008. Measurements are taken every seven minutes year-round (precipitation permitting), including polar night when the solar-viewing spectrometers are not operated. A similar instrument, the University of Idaho’s Polar AERI (P-AERI), was installed at the Zero-altitude PEARL Auxiliary Laboratory (0PAL), 15 km away from the Ridge Lab, from March 2006 to June 2009. During the period of overlap, these two instruments provided calibrated radiance measurements from two different altitudes. Retrievals of total columns of various trace gases are being evaluated using a prototype version of the retrieval algorithm SFIT2 modified to analyze emission features. In contrast to solar absorption measurements of atmospheric trace gases, which depend on sunlit clear-sky conditions, the use of emission spectra allows measurements year-round (except during precipitation events or when clouds are present). This capability allows the E-AERI to provide temporal coverage throughout the four months of polar night and to measure the radiative budget throughout the entire year. This presentation will describe the new E-AERI instrument, its performance evaluations, and clear sky vs. cloudy measurements.