The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) is a facility instrument selected by NASA to fly on the second Earth Observing System (EOS) polar orbiting platform, EOS Aqua, which will be launched in 2002. Combined with Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) and Humidity Sounder for Brazil (HSB), AIRS is designed to meet the requirements of the NASA Earth Science Enterprise climate research program and the NOAA operational weather forecasting plans. AIRS constitutes an innovative atmospheric sounding group of visible, infrared, and microwave sensors that will provide measurements for temperature at an accuracy of 1 °C in layers 1 km thick and humidity at an accuracy of 20 % in layers 2 km in the troposphere.
The AIRS suite will produce atmospheric temperature profiles, land surface temperature and infrared spectral surface emissivity, humidity profiles and total precipitable water vapor, fractional cloud cover, cloud spectral infrared emissivity, and cloud-to pressure and temperature, total ozone column density and column density in three layers of the atmosphere, trace gas column densities and where possible various layers within the atmosphere. The Goddard Space Flight Center’s (GSFC) distributed active archive center (DAAC) will provide long-term archive and distribution services for AIRS data products, which are in the HDF-EOS (Hierarchical Data Format ) format.
The atmospheric Dynamics Data Support Team will provide science and data supports to assist users in understanding, accessing and using the AIRS data products. Services will include assistance in Level-1 and Level-2 products ordering and distribution, on-demand subsetting, tools for visualization and on-line analysis, access to various documents (such as data guides, readme, FAQ, technical notes), answering user questions. For more information about the data and the related support, please visit the DAAC’s AIRS web site at: http://daac.gsfc.nasa.gov/CAMPAIGN_DOCS/atmospheric_dynamics/