News | July 9, 1999

NASA Accepts Lockheed Martin IR Instrument for Satellite Deployment

Lockheed Martin IR Imaging Systems (Lexington, MA) has delivered the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Pasadena, CA) for integration into the Earth Observing System (EOS PM) satellite, which is slated for launch in December 2000. Designed to continuously measure more than 2000 separate spectral bands, the AIRS incorporates a high resolution grating spectrometer to sample the Earth's atmosphere in the infrared spectral region from 3.74 to 15.4 µm; it is one of six major instruments on the satellite.

"NASA will be able to measure the Earth's atmospheric temperature to within one Kelvin per kilometer of altitude," said AIRS program manager Jerry Bates. "That degree of accuracy will give scientists radiosonde equivalent data over the entire earth and permit more accurate weather forecasts to be made over seven to ten days rather than just over three to five days.''