We present an overview of the Naval Postgraduate School's new LINUS instrument. This is a spectral imager designed to observe atmospheric gas plumes by means of absorption spectroscopy, using background Rayleigh-scattered daylight as an illumination source. It is a pushbroom instrument, incorporating a UV-intensified digital camera, interchangeable gratings and filters, and a DC servo-controlled image scanning system. LINUS has been developed to operate across both the near-ultraviolet and the short visible wavelength portions of the spectrum in overlapping passbands. This paper provides an outline of LINUS's design, operation and capabilities, and it summarizes results from initial laboratory and field trials.