Before ESA’s Aeolus satellite is packed up and shipped to French Guiana for liftoff in August, media representatives had the chance to see this wind measuring Earth Explorer satellite standing proud in the Airbus Defence and Space cleanroom in Toulouse, France.
Like all of the Earth Explorers, Aeolus was built to show how cutting-edge space technology can shed new light on the intricate workings of our planet. This pioneering satellite uses powerful laser technology that probes the lowermost 30 km of our atmosphere to yield vertical profiles of the wind as well as information on aerosols and clouds. This will not only improve our understanding of how the atmosphere works and contribute to climate change research, but will also help to predict extreme events such as hurricanes and El Niño. While Aeolus is set to advance science, it will also bring considerable benefits to society by improving weather forecasts.