The AIRS Instrument Support Structure (ISS) holds the various subsystems together, as well as providing alignment, thermal isolation and conduction, vibration isolation, and electrical ground.​​


  • provides a 7-point interface to the spacecraft
  • This includes a 3-point kinematic mount to the platform
  • The ISS baseplate is aluminum, while the support trusses are beryllium, aluminum and titanium.
  • The scan head support system, made from beryllium, consists of a three-point interface to the base ring of the instrument support truss.


  • maintains instrument alignment stability and boresight relative to the spacecraft
  • maintains the alignment after exposure to the environmental loads and gravity release.
  • maintains alignment after the instrument achieves operational temperature


  • thermally isolates the three thermal zones of 155 K, 190 K and 290 K
  • provides high thermal conductivity between the Aqua spacecraft’s Heat Rejection System (HRS) and the electronics


  • provides vibration isolation between the cryocoolers and the spectrometer


  • serves as electrical ground and electrical isolation for sensitive electronic subsystems.
  • AIRS mechanical structure during assembly
  • IRS mechanical assembly, showing cryocoolers installed