MAGI: A New High-Performance Airborne Thermal-Infrared Imaging Spectrometer for Earth Science Applications

A new airborne facility instrument for Earth science applications is introduced. The Mineral and Gas Identifier (MAGI) is a wide-swath (programmable up to ±42° off nadir) moderate spectral resolution thermal-infrared (TIR) imaging spectrometer that spans the 7.1- to 12.7-μm spectral window in 32 uniform and contiguous channels. Its spectral resolution enables improved discrimination of rock and mineral types, greatly expanded gas-detection capability, and generally more accurate land-surface temperature retrievals. The instrument design arose from trade studies between spectral resolution, spectral range, and instrument sensitivity and has now been validated by flight data acquired with the completed sensor. It offers a potential prototype for future space-based TIR instruments, which will require much higher spectral resolution than is currently available in order to address more detailed climate, anthropogenic, and solid Earth science questions.