The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, AIRS, is a facility instrument whose goal is to support climate research and improve weather forecasting. Launched into Earth orbit on May 4, 2002 aboard NASA's Aqua satellite, AIRS moves climate research and weather prediction into the 21st century. AIRS is one of six instruments onboard Aqua, which is part of NASA's Earth Observing System of satellites.
AIRS/AMSU/HSB observes and characterizes the entire atmospheric column from the surface to the top of the atmosphere in terms of surface emissivity and temperature, atmospheric temperature and humidity profiles, cloud amount and height, and the spectral outgoing infrared radiation. These data and scientific investigations will answer long-standing questions about the exchange and transformation of energy and radiation in the atmosphere and at Earth's surface.
Learn more: http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/
- The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument can be used to track the dispersion of SO2 and ash clouds following an explosive volcanic eruption. AIRS sulfur dioxide data are used to alert the air transportation industry about volcanic eruptions. Combined with measurements of volcanic ash, they provide a long-term record of the effects of volcanoes on the atmosphere. (https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=pia19385)
- AIRS senses emitted infrared and microwave radiation from Earth. The information is used to map such atmospheric phenomena as temperature, humidity, and cloud amounts and heights in tropical cyclones and other storm systems. (https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7492)