Launched in August 2018, ESA's Aeolus satellite has a mission to help scientists understand the trajectory and profile of the Earth's winds. Now, the mission of the European Space Agency has reached an important milestone: meteorological centers and researchers in Europe will now have access to the data collected by Aeolus.
In a statement, Josef Aschbacher, director of ESA's ground-based observation program department, admits that the development of the satellite was a complicated process. However, 20 months after the launch, the Aeolus mission is achieving its goals.
In order to make public the data collected by the Aeolus satellite, the Agency had to improve all the collection mechanisms to guarantee the accuracy of the information. According to Peggy Fischer, a researcher at ESA, the technology used by Aeolus is completely new and scientists have had to work together to locate and correct some disproportionate errors and trends.
ESA clarifies that the satellite uses a series of instruments to identify the trajectory and profile of the Earth's winds. Highlighted is a special LIDAR sensor that uses beams of ultraviolet light to determine wind speed.
The information collected by the satellite will be distributed in near real time through the Aeolus Online Dissemination Center, the European EUMETCast and the Global Telecommunication System of the World Meteorological Organization. The European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), in the United Kingdom, is already using Aeolus data to make meteorological forecasts since January this year.