ESA’s Aeolus satellite being lifted out of its transport container at Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, where it is being prepared for liftoff on 21 August 2018.
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.