The THz atmospheric limb sounder (TALIS) is a microwave radiometer developed by the National Space Science Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences for the detection of atmospheric trace gases. The observation range of the instrument mainly focuses on the middle and upper atmosphere (10–100 km above the earth’s surface). The detection targets include the temperature, pressure, and more than 10 kinds of atmospheric components. Its scientific goal is to improve our comprehension of atmospheric chemical composition and dynamics, and to monitor environmental pollution and sources in the atmosphere. The TALIS instrument is composed of an antenna, superheterodyne radiometers, and digital fast Fourier transform (FFT) spectrometers. By measuring the atmospheric thermal radiance in the wide frequency band with 118, 190, 240, and 643 GHz as the center frequency, the required volume mixing ratio (VMR) of atmospheric chemical species can be obtained. This paper introduces the characteristics of the TALIS instrument, and establishes a simulation model for the TALIS spectrometer. Through a joint simulation with an atmosphere radiative transfer simulator (ARTS), the TALIS instrument performance is evaluated from the aspects of calibration, the imbalance of two sidebands, the spectrum resolution, and quantization. The simulation results show that the two-point calibration can well-restore the radiance spectrum of the scene target and remove the influence of the spectral response function (SRF); the double side band (DSB) receiver with a 2 MHz resolution can meet the sensitivity and spectrum resolution requirements. Finally, the sensitivity errors of different quantization bits are given by the simulation and the results show that at 8-bit, the sensitivity and its degradation ratio are 1.251 K and 1.036 at a 2 MHz spectrum resolution and 100 ms integration time, respectively.
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