The Gimballed Limb Observer for Radiance Imaging of the Atmosphere (GLORIA) is an imaging limb emission sounder operating in the thermal infrared region. It is designed to provide measurements of the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere with high spatial and high spectral resolution. The instrument consists of an imaging Fourier transform spectrometer integrated into a gimbal. The assembly can be mounted in the belly pod of the German High Altitude and Long Range research aircraft (HALO) and in instrument bays of the Russian M55 Geophysica. Measurements are made in two distinct modes: the chemistry mode emphasises chemical analysis with high spectral resolution, and the dynamics mode focuses on dynamical processes of the atmosphere with very high spatial resolution. In addition, the instrument allows tomographic analyses of air volumes. The first measurement campaigns have shown compliance with key performance and operational requirements.