The AIRS instrument was launched in May 2002 into a polar sun-synchronous orbit onboard the EOS Aqua Spacecraft. Since then we have released three versions of the AIRS data product to the scientific community. 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. The first version of software, Version 2.0 was available to scientists shortly after launch with Version 3.0 released to the public in June 2003. Like all AIRS product releases, all products are accessible to the public in order to have the best user feedback on issues that appear in the data. Fortunately the products have had exceptional accuracy and stability. This paper presents the improvement between AIRS Version 4.0 and Version 5.0 products and shows examples of the new products available in Version 5.0.
The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU-A), and the Humidity Sounder for Brazil (HSB) instruments were launched aboard NASA's Aqua spacecraft on May 4, 2002 into near-polar Earth orbit with a 1:30 PM ascending equator crossing. The AIRS instrument measures 2,378 infrared and four visible/near-infrared channels, while the 15-channel AMSU-A and four-channel HSB instrument provide simultaneous observations in the microwave region from 23.8-89 GHz and 150-189 GHz, respectively. Together these instruments produce thousands of measurements per second for a mission expected to last 7 years.
This paper describes the challenges of identifying and monitoring, among the approximately 1,500 available engineering and quality assessment parameters, a representative subset for tracking each instrument's performance. A software system has been developed which autonomously extracts key items from the voluminous project database, performs data analysis and creates web-based daily summary reports with links to these archived results. Independently, a second process autonomously monitors these trending data products and notifies team members by e-mail if parameters exceed their trending-specific monitoring limits. Finally, this paper describes how this system has been used to predict long-term instrument performance trends, investigate previous flight anomalies and maintain the instrument within calibration specifications.