ESA’s wind sensing spacecraft Aeolus, is encapsulated into the Vega
launcher ready for lift-off
Stevenage/Kourou, 09/08/2018 - Aeolus, the European Space Agency’s wind sensing satellite, has been encapsulated into the Vega launcher at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou ready for launch on the 21 August.
Built by Airbus, Aeolus will be the first satellite capable of performing global wind-component-profile observation on a daily basis in near real-time.
The 1.4-tonne spacecraft, features the LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) instrument called Aladin, which uses the Doppler effect to determine the wind speed at varying altitudes.
The data from Aeolus will provide reliable wind-profile data on a global scale and is needed by meteorologists to further improve the accuracy of weather forecasts and by climatologists to better understand the global dynamics of Earth’s atmosphere.
Aeolus will orbit the Earth 15 times a day with data delivery to users within 120 minutes of the oldest measurement in each orbit. The orbit repeat cycle is 7 days (every 111 orbits) and the spacecraft will fly in a 320 km orbit and have a lifetime of three years.
Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2017 it generated revenues of € 59 billion restated for IFRS 15 and employed a workforce of around 129,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.