CRISTA-NF - a Helium-cooled Infrared Telescope for the Atmosphere


CRyogenic Infrared Spectrometers and Telescopes for the Atmosphere (CRISTA) is a scientific instrument  developed by the University of Wuppertal for studies of small-scale structures in the atmospheric trace gas distributions, which performed very successfully during two Space Shuttle flights in November 1994 and August 1997.

Remote sensing on board the Russian high-flying research plane M55 GEOPHYSICA allows for even a greater resolution of the vertical structure of the Upper Troposphere / Lower Stratosphere (UTLS). The high time resolution and scan frequency of CRISTA suited very well for aircraft deployment in order to resolve small-scale structures vertically as well as  horizontally, especially those in the UTLS near the tropopause.

In cooperation with the research center Juelich (ICG-1) the main telescope of CRISTA was adapted to the structure of the research plane M55 Geophysica. That included a new design of a compact light-weight cryostat, the modification of the electronics, as well as the installation of a new instrument control and data acquisition system. So CRISTA  became the new airborne instrument CRISTA-NF.

M55 Geophysica

Russian high-flying research plane

CRISTA-NF in Geophysica Bay 1

A Helium-cooled infrared telescope
for measurements on board the high-flying research plane GEOPHYSICA