SCIAMACHY (Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric CHartographY) is a contribution to the ENVISAT-1 satellite, which is to be launched in late 2000. The SCIAMACHY instrument is designed to measure sunlight transmitted, reflected and scattered by the Earth's atmosphere or surface. The instrument measures simultaneously from the UV to the NIR spectral spectral region (240 - 2380 nm). Observations are made in alternate nadir and limb viewing geometries and also for solar sunrise and lunar moonrise occultation. Inversion of the SCIAMACHY measurements will provide the following: the amount and distributions of some important trace gases O 3, BrO, OClO, ClO, SO 2, H 2CO, NO 2, CO, CO 2, CH 4, H 2O, N 2O, p, T, aerosol, and radiation flux profiles, cloud cover and cloud top height. Combination of the near simultaneous limb and nadir observations enables the tropospheric column amounts of O 3, NO 2, CO, CH 4, H 2O, N 2O, SO 2, and H 2CO to be detected. SCIAMACHY will provide new insight into the global behaviour of the troposphere and the stratosphere.