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Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres



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The Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) is a spaceborne Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS) that was launched into orbit on 28 October 2011 onboard the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite. CrIS is a sophisticated sounding sensor that accurately measures upwelling infrared radiance at high spectral resolution. Data obtained from this sensor are used for atmospheric profiles retrieval and assimilation by numerical weather prediction models. Optimum vertical sounding resolution is achieved with high spectral resolution and multiple spectral channels; however, this can lead to increased noise. The CrIS instrument is designed to overcome this problem. Noise Equivalent Differential Radiance (NEdN) is one of the key parameters of the Sensor Data Record product. The CrIS on-orbit NEdN surpassesmission requirements with margin and has comparable or better performance when compared to heritage hyperspectral sensors currently on orbit. This paper describes CrIS noise performance through the characterization of the sensor’s NEdN and compares it to calibration data obtained during ground test. In addition, since FTS sensors can be affected by vibration that leads to spectrally correlated noise on top of the random noise inherent to infrared detectors, this paper also characterizes the CrIS NEdN with respect to the correlated noise contribution to the total NEdN. Lastly, the noise estimated from the imaginary part of the complex FTS spectra is extremely useful to assess andmonitor in-flight FTS sensor health. Preliminary results on the imaginary spectra noise analysis are also presented.