Instrument summary

The UNiversal InfraRed Airborne Spectrometer (UNIRAS) is currently being developed as a joint project led by Imperial College, with partners ABB Inc. and the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements (FAAM). UNIRAS builds on the heritage of TAFTS but will have additional scientific capability through its enhanced spectral coverage and enhanced measurement accuracy. A particularly innovative feature is the ability to swap detectors to target different parts of the infrared spectrum dependent on application. The primary platform for UNIRAS will be the FAAM BaE-146 aircraft but is designed such that it can be deployed flexibly on alternative platforms.

As well as providing a world-leading measurement capability UNIRAS will serve as a demonstrator for the forthcoming FORUM mission and play a role in defining future space mission concepts seeking to exploit the infrared spectrum. We envisage that UNIRAS will be ready for deployment in early 2025.


  • Four port, double pendulum interferometer
  • Spectral range:
    • Far-infrared configuration – 6.25-100 microns
    • Extended mid-infrared – 6.25-25 microns (enhanced spatial resolution)
  • Nominal spectral resolution: 0.5 cm-1
  • Primary platform: FAAM BaE-146
  • Science Lead: Prof. Helen Brindley, NCEO, Imperial College London
  • Project Scientist: Dr Jon Murray, Imperial College London
  • Funding Agencies: NERC and ESA