The aim of the European Space Agency's Earth Explorer Aeolus, formerly known as ADM-Aeolus (Atmospheric Dynamics Mission), scheduled for launch in 2010, is to provide global observations of three-dimensional wind fields, which will improve current wind-profiling and thus atmospheric modeling and analysis techniques, benefiting operational weather forecasting and climate research.
Aeolus will gather data by the active Doppler Wind Lidar (DWL) method, whereby an active instrument emits laser pulses towards the atmosphere and measures the Doppler shift of the collected return signal, backscattered at different levels in the atmosphere, creating a wind profile showing the relative strength and direction of winds at different altitudes, as well as moisture and dust levels in the atmosphere.
Aeolus' instrument is Aladin (Atmospheric LAser Doppler INstrument), a direct detection lidar incorporating a fringe-imaging receiver (analysing aerosol and cloud backscatter) and a double-edge receiver (analysing molecular backscatter). The mission is named after the mortal in Greek legend appointed by the gods as keeper of the winds.
Astrium is prime contractor for the mission, and also responsible for the ADM-Aeolus instrument Aladin, and platform electrical architecture and subsystems. The contract was signed in 2003 for a launch in 2007. Due to massive problems during development of the Aladin Lidar, the launch slipped to 2018.
|Type / Application:||Earth Science|
|Contractors:||EADS Astrium → Airbus Defence and Space|
|Power:||2 deployable solar arrays, batteries|
|Orbit:||400 km SSO|
|Aeolus (ADM-Aeolus, Earth Explorer 4)||-||2018||Ko ELV||Vega|