Mapping in real time the Earth’s wind patterns from space to provide information that improves the quality of weather forecasts is the goal of the new European Space Agency (ESA) satellite, ESA’s Aeolus.
Aeolus, one of the most advanced orbiting instruments, scheduled for launch on August 21st from the European Space Port in Kourou, French Guiana, will carry a sophisticated atmospheric Doppler laser instrument called Aladin.
Also, the spacecraft will combine two lasers, a telescope and sensitive receivers, ESA explained on its website, where it indicated that collecting the necessary information about the Earth’s wind patterns is one of the challenges in making accurate weather forecasts.
That will be the first satellite to measure winds directly from space, at all altitudes, from the surface of the Earth through the troposphere and up to 30 kilometers from the stratosphere.
ESA’s Aeolus mission will map Earth’s wind patterns providing complex insight on the atmosphere and climate processes
“The mission will provide incredible insight into our planet, particularly in the complex world of atmospheric dynamics and climate processes, systems that not only affect daily life but also have consequences for the future,” said European Space Agency’s Chief of Missionary Operations, Paolo Ferri.
ESA’s Aeolus will circumnavigate the Earth endlessly from one pole to the other in an orbit called by scientists “synchronous to the Sun.” During its course, the satellite will move above any given point on the Earth’s surface at the same local time, in order to keep its orientation in relation to the Sun.
The European Space Agency announced that the satellite would be following a ‘dawn-dusk’ orbit, which appears to be along the line between the day side of the Earth and the night side, the day and night on our planet, thus ensuring the same level of light for its solar panels.