21 Sep 2009



The Terahertz and Sub-mm Limb Sounder (TELIS) is a new state-of-the-art balloon borne atmospheric monitor that will allow enhanced limb sounding of the Earth's atmosphere within the millimetre and sub-millimetre wavelength spectral range.

​​The Terahertz and Sub-mm Limb Sounder pictured with a typical ballpoint pen beside it, showing they are about the same length.

​​The Terahertz and Sub-mm Limb Sounder


​RAL Space Involvement
Developed a high-sensitivity (4K) 500 GHz receiver

The instrument is being developed by a consortium of major European institutes that include RAL, the Space Research Organisation of the Netherlands (SRON), and the Deutschen Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) in Germany (lead institute). TELIS will utilise state-of-the-art superconducting heterodyne technology and is designed to be a compact, lightweight instrument capable of providing broad spectral coverage, high spectral resolution and long flight duration (~24 hours duration during a single flight campaign).

Diagram of TELIS internal workingsThe combination of high sensitivity and extensive flight duration will allow evaluation of the diurnal variation of key atmospheric constituents such as OH, ClO, BrO together will longer lived constituents such as O3, HCL and N2O. Furthermore, the TELIS will share a common balloon platform to that of the MIPAS-B Fourier transform spectrometer, developed by the Institute of Meteorology and Climate research of the University of Karlsruhe, Germany. MIPAS-B will provide simultaneous and complementary spectral measurements over an extended spectral range.


Main Objectives
Measurement of stratospheric BrO and ClO from high-altitude balloon.

The combination of the TELIS and MIPAS instruments will provide atmospheric scientists with a very powerful observational tool and, in addition, will act as a prelude to future spaceborne instruments planned by the European Space Agency (ESA). More information is available from SRON and DLR.​ 

Launch Date

Bryan Lawrence

Current Phase

For more information please contact: RAL Space Enquiries