September 2, 1997
Welcome to the FIRS homepage at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
The FIRS-2 is a far-infrared Fourier transform spectrometer used to measure the abundance of various trace gases in the stratosphere from both balloon and aircraft platforms. It is the successor to the FIRS-1, which had 6 productive balloon flights starting in 1979 before being destroyed in a free-fall in 1983. We use the abundance measurements to test photochemical models of the stratosphere, particularly our understanding of mechanisms of production and loss of ozone. We have also used the aircraft data obtained during the second Airborne Arctic Stratospheric Expedition to explore the dynamics of the arctic vortex.