The European Space Agency's Aeolus mission aims to improve short-term weather forecasting and understanding of man-made climate change
PARIS, France – On Tuesday, 21st August, a satellite to measure Earth's global wind patterns will be launched into orbit from the Arianespace launch site in French Guiana.
The Aeolus mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) – named after the guardian of Greek mythology – promises to improve short-term weather forecasting and our understanding of man-made climate change. (READ: Russia launches European satellite to monitor Earth's atmosphere)
"Meteorologists urgently need reliable wind profile data to improve accuracy," ESA said.
In particular, tropical winds are mapped very poorly because of the winds Nearly complete absence of direct observations
In space, Aeolus can retrieve data from anywhere on the planet, including remote regions where there are no ground-based weather stations
The Satellite will carry a large telescope with a length of 1.5 meters high-sensitive receiver and a Doppler wind lidar nicknamed Aladin.
The Doppler lidar sends short, strong laser light pulses to the earth in the ultraviolet spectrum. Particles in the air – moisture, dust, gases – scatter a small portion of this light energy back to the transceiver, where it is collected and recorded.
The delay between the outgoing pulse and the so-called "backscattered" signal indicates the direction of the wind at n, speed and distance traveled.
Once per orbit, data is downloaded to a ground station in Spitsbergen, Norway
The payload of 1,260 kilograms is lifted into a 320 kilometer orbit with a Vega rocket, starting at 9 PM on Tuesday: 00 GMT.
Aeolus will be the fifth of ESA's planned Earth Explorer missions. Others that have been completed or have been in operation have measured gravity and geomagnetic fields, soil moisture, salinity of the ocean, and frozen expanses collectively known as cryosphere. (READ: The first lake with liquid water is discovered on Mars)
The new mission will be the 50th launch of Arianespace for ESA. – Rappler.com