The Gimballed Limb Radiance Imager of the Atmosphere (GLORIA) instrument is an imaging Fourier transform spectrometer that is capable to operate on various high altitude research aircraft and on stratospheric balloons. The instrument is a joint development of the Helmholtz Centers Jülich and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. GLORIA has flown for the first time in December 2011 on board the Russian Geophysica M55 research aircraft. Atmospheric measurements with GLORIA are possible in limb and nadir geometry. The scientific focus in limb sounding mode is on dynamics, tropopause region, TTL and polar UTLS. The nadir mode is tailored to processes in the troposphere such as biomass burning events and high precision methane measurements. The combination of limb and nadir will combine good spatial resolution in both the troposphere and lower stratosphere. In addition, GLORIA serves as a proof of concept instrument for the candidate ESA Earth explorer mission PREMIER. The GLORIA spectrometer consists of a classical Michelson interferometer combined with an infrared camera. The spectral range of the first instrument version extends from 780 cm-1 to 1400 cm-1 with a spectral resolution of up to 0.075 cm-1. The high speed HgCdTe focal plane array with 256×256 elements allows in the limb mode an extremely high spatial sampling of up to 100 m in the vertical domain. The spectrometer is mounted in a gimballed frame that permits agility in elevational and azimuthal direction, as well as image rotation. Scene acquisition and scene stabilisation are accomplished by a control system based on an inertial measurement unit. Limb scenes can be chosen within 45° and 132° to the flight direction of the aircraft allowing tomographic analysis of sampled air volumes.