Gautier, C, Shiren, Y, Hofstadter, M (2003). AIRS/Vis near IR instrument. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING, 41(2), 330-342.
A component of the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument system is the AIRS/Visible Near InfraRed (Vis/NIR) instrument. With a nadir ground resolution of 2.28 km and four channels, the Vis/NIR instrument provides diagnostic support to the infrared retrievals from the AIRS instrument and several research products, including surface solar flux studies. The AIRS Vis/NIR is composed of three narrowband (channel 1: 0.4070.44 mum; channel 2: 0.58-0.68 mum, and channel 3: 0.71-0.92 mum) and one broadband (channel 4: 0.49-0.94 mum) channel, each a linear detector array of nine pixels. It is calibrated onboard with three tungsten lamps. Vicarious calibrations using ground targets of known reflectance and a cross-calibration with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) augment the onboard calibration. One of AIRS Vis/NIR's principal supporting functions is the detection of low clouds to flag these conditions for atmospheric temperature retrievals. Once clouds are detected, a cloud height index is obtained based on the ratio (channel 2 - channel 3)/channel 1 that is sensitive to the partitioning of water vapor absorption above and below clouds. The determination of the surface solar radiation flux is principally based on channel 4 broadband measurements and the well-established relationship between top-of-the atmosphere (broadband) radiance and the surface irradiance.