Aeolus satellite

  • It is a wind-sensing satellite launched by European Space Agency (ESA).
  • The satellite is named Aeolus after guardian of wind in Greek mythology.
  • It will be placed at altitude of 320km above the Earth.
  • It is part of the Copernicus project, a joint initiative of European Union (EU) and European Space Agency (ESA) to track environmental damage and aid disaster relief operations.
  • Aeolus satellite is equipped with single instrument Doppler wind lidar (named Aladin), which is an advanced laser system designed to accurately measure global wind patterns from space.
  • It will probe lower layers of atmosphere, down to altitude of about 30 km to yield vertical profiles of wind and information on aerosols and clouds.
  • Significance: Aeolus satellite will provide much-needed data to improve quality and accuracy of weather forecasting. It will help to improve understanding of working of atmosphere dynamics and contribute to climate change research. - Aeolus satellite

Working of Doppler LIDAR

  • It transmits short, powerful pulses of laser light toward Earth in ultraviolet (UV) spectrum.
  • Particles in air (such as moisture, dust, gases) scatter small fraction of that light energy back to transceiver, where it is collected and recorded.
  • The delay between outgoing pulse and so-called backscattered signal reveals wind’s direction, speed and distance travelled.