The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, AIRS, is one of six instruments on board the Aqua satellite, part of NASA's Earth Observing System. AIRS, along with its partner microwave instrument, Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU-A). AIRS represents the most advanced atmospheric sounding system ever deployed in space. Together these instruments observe the global water and energy cycles, climate variation and trends, and the response of the climate system to increased greenhouse gases.
AIRS uses cutting-edge infrared technology to create 3-dimensional maps of air and surface temperature, water vapor, and cloud properties. With 2378 spectral channels, AIRS has a spectral resolution more than 100 times greater than previous IR sounders and provides more accurate information on the vertical profiles of atmospheric temperature and moisture. AIRS can also measure trace greenhouse gases such as ozone, carbon monoxide, and methane.
See More: airs.jpl.nasa.gov