NPOESS Airborne Sounder Testbed - Interferometer (NAST-I)

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The NPOESS Airborne Sounding Testbed-Interferometer (NAST-I) is a high spectral resolution (0.25cm- 1) and high spatial resolution (0.13 km linear resolution per km of aircraft flight altitude, at nadir) scanning (2.3 km ground cross-track swath width per km of aircraft flight altitude) interferometer sounding system that was developed to be flown on high-altitude aircraft to provide experimental observations needed to finalize the specifications and to test proposed designs and data processing algorithms for the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) to fly on the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). Because the NAST-I temperature and humidity soundings have an unprecedented spatial resolution, the data are being used to support a variety of atmospheric research programs. The NAST-I covers a spectral range from ~ 600-2900 cm-1 (3.5-16 microns) with 0.25 cm-1 spectral resolution, yielding more than 9000 spectral channels of radiance emission information. The NAST-I passive infrared (IR) Michelson interferometer is usually flown with the NAST passive microwave sounding instrument (NAST-M) to provide an all-weather sounding capability.

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