The Oxford CIRS Team
Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS), an instrument for measuring the thermal
radiation emitted by a planetary body, is mounted on the Remote Sensing
Platform of the Cassini orbiter, which has been exploring the Saturnian system
since July 2004. The Cassini Huygens mission is providing an unprecedented and
extraordinary opportunity to explore the gas giant Saturn, its icy moons and
majestic rings, to a level of detail never achieved before.
The Oxford CIRS team, based in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics (AOPP) in the University of Oxford, is a data
analysis group dedicated to the study of the atmospheres of Saturn and its
mysterious moon, Titan. We utilise the wealth of superb data returned by the
CIRS instrument to retrieve profiles of temperature, gas composition and
distribution, with the goal of achieving a better understanding of these remote
The AOPP department has designed and built hardware for planetary missions
exploring every planet and major satellite in our solar system, as far out as
Saturn. Continuing this tradition, Oxford supplied the radiative cooler and
cold focal plane assembly for CIRS.
This website provides more details of Oxford's role in the Cassini mission, as we
dramatically improve our knowledge of the Saturnian system.
Created by L.N. Fletcher January 2006.