The ESA (European Space Agency) scheduled the launch of its Aeolus Mission on Tuesday from the Arianespace launch site in French Guiana. The mission, named after the guardian of winds in the Greek mythology, Aeolus, has the purpose of recording data and analyzing the behavior of the winds within the Earth’s atmosphere.
According to the ESA’s statement, “meteorologists urgently need reliable wind-profile data to improve accuracy,” and that’s where Aeolus Mission comes into support as it will give, from outer space, worldwide observations of wind profiles, trying to help scientists better comprehend climate and atmospheric dynamics, as well as to improve weather forecasts.
There is a need for better tropical winds observations
One huge gap in the current climate models and atmospheric maps is the lack of some good tropical winds observations. Fortunately, ESA’s Aeolus Mission is up for that job.
Once in the Earth’s orbit, Aeolus will be capable of gathering data on every part of the Earth’s atmosphere, including the tropical areas and the remote regions of the globe where there are no weather stations. As for the tropical areas, in particular, Aeolus Mission would provide the sought-after help for the first 100 percent accurate tropical winds map.
All the data this weather satellite will retrieve will be eventually downloaded to a station located in Norway, in the town of Svalbard.
ESA will launch its Aeolus Mission on Tuesday, August 21st
ESA’s Aeolus Mission will employ the active Doppler Wind Lidars (DWL) method for winds observations, which is also known as ALADIN. According to ESA, this DWL method is the only one capable of providing the needed global observations of cloud top heights, aerosol properties, wind variability, and the vertical distribution of clouds.
In the meantime, until this weather satellite will send home the first data, the 1,260-kilogram Aeolus Mission will take off tomorrow aboard a Vega rocket from the Arianespace launch site in French Guiana, at 21:20 GMT.