Evolution, current capabilities, and future advances in satellite ultra-spectral IR sounding
Infrared ultra‐spectral spectrometers have brought on a new era in satellite remote atmospheric sounding capability. During the 1970’s, after the implementation of the first satellite sounding instruments, it became evident that much higher vertical resolution sounding information was needed to be able to forecast life and property threatening localized severe weather. The ultra‐spectral resolution sounding technology demonstration began in 1985, with the airborne High‐resolution Interferometer Sounder (HIS) instrument. Today, after more than a decade of development time, the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) are now operating successfully from the Aqua and MetOp Polar orbiting satellites. The successful development and ground demonstration of the Geostationary Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer (GIFTS), during this decade, is now paving the way toward the implementation of the ultra‐spectral sounding capability on the international system of geostationary environmental satellites.