A wind intelligence satellite launched from French Guiana

A wind intelligence satellite launched from French Guiana

The ADM-Aeolus mission will not only improve our understanding of atmospheric dynamics, but will also help create more accurate weather forecasts. The satellite carries the first lidar in space, capable of exploring the lowest 30 km of the atmospheric layer to provide wind profiles, aerosols and clouds along the satellite's orbital path. The laser system emits short powerful pulses of UV light into the atmosphere. The telescope collects light that is scattered back from air molecules, dust particles and water droplets. The receiver analyzes the Doppler shift of the backscattered signal to determine wind speed and direction at various heights below the satellite.

On August 22, Europe launched a rocket from French Guiana to launch a satellite into orbit. Aeolus will monitor global winds, which will improve the weather forecast. The launch took place after a 24-hour delay due to adverse weather conditions. The satellite was named after the keeper of the wind in Greek mythology. It will be installed at an altitude of 320 km above the Earth.

Part of the Copernicus program - a joint initiative of the EU and ESA to monitor environmental damage and assist in disaster relief. On board the Aeolus is one device - the Doppler lidar motor. It is an advanced laser system designed to accurately measure global wind patterns from space. The mission will provide important data to improve the quality of weather forecasting and contribute to climate research. The satellite will be the first device to obtain profiles of the terrestrial winds on a global scale. In particular, tropical winds are poorly displayed, since they have not been directly observed.

The Doppler lidar transmits short, powerful laser pulses to the earth in the UV spectrum. Particles in the air (moisture, dust, gases) dissipate a small fraction of this light energy back to the transceiver, where information is collected and recorded.

The delay between the outgoing pulse and the backscattering signals the wind direction, speed and distance traveled. Data uploaded to a ground station in Norway. Aeolus is the fifth ESA mission to explore Earth. Others are already completed or in operation. They were able to measure the gravitational and geomagnetic terrestrial fields, soil moisture, ocean salinity and the cryosphere (frozen space). The new mission was also the 50th launch for ESA.

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