The Atmospheric Infrared Spectrometer (AIRS) Science Processing System (SPS) is a collection of computer programs, denoted product generation executives (PGEs), for processing the readings of the AIRS suite of infrared and microwave instruments orbiting the Earth aboard NASA's Aqua spacecraft. AIRS SPS at an earlier stage of development was described in "Initial Processing of Infrared Spectral Data" (NPO-35243), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 28, No. 11 (November 2004), page 39. To recapitulate: Starting from level 0 (representing raw AIRS data), the PGEs and their data products are denoted by alphanumeric labels (1A, 1B, and 2) that signify the successive stages of processing. The cited prior article described processing through level 1B (the level-2 PGEs were not yet operational).

The level-2 PGEs, which are now operational, receive packages of level-1B geolocated radiance data products and produce such geolocated geophysical atmospheric data products such as temperature and humidity profiles. The process of computing these geophysical data products is denoted "retrieval" and is quite complex. The main steps of the process are denoted microwave-only retrieval, cloud detection and cloud clearing, regression, full retrieval, and rapid transmittance algorithm.

This program was written by Robert Oliphant, Sung-Yung Lee, Moustafa Chahine of Caltech; Joel Susskind of Goddard Space Flight Center; Christopher Barnet, Larry McMillin, and Mitchell Goldberg of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; John Blaisdell of Science Applications International Corp; Philip Rosenkranz of Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Larrabee Strow of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Karina Edmonds of the California Institute of Technology at (626) 395-2322. Refer to NPO-40459.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the September, 2007 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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