The new spectrometer of the Munich Aerosol Cloud Scanner (specMACS) is a multipurpose hyperspectral cloud and sky imager designated, but not limited to investigations of cloud–aerosol interactions in Earth's atmosphere. With its high spectral and spatial resolution, the instrument is designed to measure solar radiation in the visible and shortwave infrared region that is reflected from, or transmitted through clouds and aerosol layers. It is based on two hyperspectral cameras that measure in the solar spectral range between 400 and 2500  nm with a spectral bandwidth between 2.5 and 12.0  nm. The instrument was operated in ground-based campaigns as well as aboard the German High Altitude LOng Range (HALO) research aircraft, e.g., during the ACRIDICON-CHUVA campaign in Brazil during summer 2014. This paper describes the specMACS instrument hardware and software design and characterizes the instrument performance. Furthermore, first measurements are presented which demonstrate the wide applicability of the instrument.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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