Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

The Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) was one of ten scientific instruments on the Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite (UARS), a NASA project operative from 1991-2005. The satellite's suite of instruments researched the “greenhouse effect” (the impact of increased CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere) and the ozone hole over Antarctica. A central element of NASA's "Mission to Planet Earth", UARS provided critical data on the chemical and physical interactions between Earth's upper and lower strata of atmosphere.

The MLS's Processing Board/Filter Bank processed data received through the Ghz Receiver, looking for the spectra signatures of key chemicals, such as chlorine monoxide, a molecule that breaks down and depletes atmospheric ozone.

NASA transferred this object to the museum in 2016.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Transferred from NASA


Aluminum, copper, plastic


Overall: 46.7cm × 21.9cm × 4.6cm, 4.4kg (1 ft. 6.4 in. × 8.6 in. × 1.8 in., 9 3/4lb.)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Inventory Number