As early as the late 1960s / early 1970s, Nimbus-3 carried Iris-B and Nimbus-4 carried Iris-D, both infrared spectroradiometers with a moderate spectral resolution. Subsequently, I believe it was not until AIRS flew on EOS-Aqua (launch 2002), and subsequently IASI on EPS and CrIS on SNPP and on JPSS, that spectrometers were flown on (semi-)operational weather satellites. Why is this so? Were IRIS-B and IRIS-D considered unsuccessful, prohibitively expensive, or did agencies simply prioritise on other things?

EDIT 2019-03-20: There was actually one other hyperspectral interferometer: The Spectrometer Interferometer was flown on several Meteor satellites. The instrument was built by the Academy of Sciences of German Democratic Republic (GDR), in collaboration with the former Soviet Hydrometeorological Service (HYDROMET) and the former Meteorological Service of GDR (Spänkuch 1980) and flew in the late 1970s / early 1980s.


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