The first Doppler wind lidar in space has been launched.
Late on August 22, ESA’s Earth Explorer Aeolus satellite was launched into polar orbit. Aeolus will measure winds around the globe and play a key role in our quest to better understand the workings of our atmosphere. Importantly, this novel mission will also improve weather forecasting. Aeolus uses a novel Doppler lidar (laser radar) technique to provide direct profiles of atmospheric winds. These measurements will be the first direct measurements of atmospheric winds from space.
KNMI has been involved in various aspects of the mission, including general scientific support, mission simulation and retrieval algorithm development and will play a role in the processing and exploitation of the exciting new data that will be producted by this mission.