The Instrument

The Geosynchronous Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer (GIFTS) will achieve many atmospheric remote sensing goals that have evolved since the first imaging and sounding instruments flew aboard early weather satellites. As an innovative instrument, GIFTS will revolutionize space-based observations of the Earth’s atmosphere. This slideshow explains the basics of the different technologies aboard and how they work together to gather data.

Completed in May 2005, the Engineering Development Unit (EDU) has allowed the partners in the GIFTS project to test the concepts and technologies driving GIFTS. The successful completion of the GIFTS EDU characterization and calibration phase has provided solid support for the technology.

The Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) is the defining element of GIFTS. While the concept of an FTS with image capabilities is not new, the combination of technologies will allow vast improvements in spatial spectral coverage with an exceedingly accurate and sensitive system. To simultaneously satisfy the required level of spectral, spatial, and temporal resolution, the system needs to make many measurements at the same time—a concept called parallel sensing. The Large area Focal Plane Array (LFPA) facilitates parallel sensing and gives GIFTS the measuring power of more than 16,300 individual FTSs.

GIFTS also carries a unique calibration system devised and constructed at SSEC. SSEC has a tradition of developing highly accurate infrared calibration sources, known as blackbodies. The blackbody system delivered for the GIFTS Engineering Development Unit significantly exceeds the requirements set forth by the partners in the GIFTS program, and serves as a prototype for future planned climate missions that have more stringent calibration performance requirements.

In addition to the FTS and the calibration systems, GIFTS has a host of other advanced technologies. Please refer to the slideshow for further detail along with images, diagrams, and graphs.

Additional information

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