Mighty MURI brings the heat to test new longwave infrared radiometer – NASA Science

Traditional space-based thermal sensors rely on bulky cryogenic coolers to remain at a constant temperature of about -300 degrees Fahrenheit. Cryogenic coolers add a lot of mass to space instruments. For example, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), a space-based infrared radiometer serving aboard NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites, weighs more than 500 pounds.

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