Aeolus Satellite Nearing Launch into Atmosphere

by | Jun 18, 2018

Inside the Airbus Defence Cleanroom the Aeolus Satellite Nears Launch

In this special edition of Earth from Space, ESA’s Aeolus Satellite Project Manager, Anders Elfving, joins us in the cleanroom at Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse, France, to talk about the challenges in developing the mission’s pioneering laser technology.

By: European Space Agency, ESA
Discover more about our planet with the Earth from Space video programme. In this special edition, ESA’s Aeolus Project Manager, Anders Elfving, joins us in the cleanroom at Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse, France, to talk about the challenges in developing the mission’s pioneering laser technology.

Aeolus, A.K.A. Atmospheric Dynamics Mission Aeolus, is an Earth observation satellite built by Airbus Defence and Space that is planned to launch in September 2018. The Aeolus satellite carries a laser for wind measurement. The information collected by the Aeolus Satellite is useful not only for weather forecasting but also to help us better understand atmospheric conditions and climate.

Aeolus has been in development for quite some time. The program was initially approved in 1999 for a 2007 launch, however, several technical obstacles caused the project 11 years of delay. How long has it taken to build the Aeolus Satellite? Well, it started in early development in 2002, so it’s been 16 years and it originally had been planned for 8 years.

Living Planet Program

The Aeolus Satellite is one of five satellites to be launched in the Living Planet Program created by the European Space Agency (ESA). The main reason for creating the Aeolus Satellite mission is to help to increase the knowledge of the Earth’s atmosphere and weather systems. By recording and monitoring the weather in different parts of the world, the Aeolus satellite will help scientists to build complex weather models for analysis. These weather models brought forth by the data captured by the Aeolus Satellite, will be used to help predict how the environment will behave in the future.

Therefore, the goal of the mission is to improve the understanding of weather phenomena, from global warming to the effects of air pollution. Aeolus is seen as a mission that will pave the way for future operational meteorological satellites dedicated to study Earth’s windprofiles. This achievement will ultimately help us to minimize global environmental risks, increase awareness environmental issues and help us to plan for the preservation of our planet.

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