2023 Author: Bryan Walter | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 22:24
The European Space Agency has launched the ADM-Aeolus satellite, designed to monitor winds in the stratosphere. It is assumed that collecting accurate data on wind speeds at altitudes up to 30 kilometers will improve the quality of meteorological forecasts. The launch was broadcast on the agency's website.
One of the main factors affecting the weather is wind. At the same time, it is one of the main problems that hinder the preparation of medium and long-term meteorological forecasts. The fact is that measuring the speed and direction of wind in the stratosphere is much more difficult than at low altitude. For this, stationary ground stations are used, equipped with radars, lidars and other instruments for measuring wind characteristics. In addition, data can be obtained by running stratospheric balloons with scientific equipment. However, ground stations are tied to a specific territory and are not suitable for constant monitoring of winds over the oceans, which make a large contribution to the formation of weather, and stratospheric balloons do not allow data collection on a regular basis.
The ADM-Aeolus satellite is designed to fill in the missing data on winds in the lower half of the stratosphere - up to 30 kilometers. The satellite is equipped with an ALADIN Doppler lidar for data collection. This device contains a laser that emits ultraviolet pulses with a wavelength of 355 nanometers. Passing through the atmosphere, radiation is scattered by air molecules, as well as water droplets and dust particles.
Lidar can collect wind data due to the fact that when scattered, the light returned to the detector has a changed wavelength, depending on the speed of the particle at which the original radiation was scattered. Since the lidar telescope will be located at an angle to the Earth's surface and perpendicular to the direction of the satellite's velocity vector, ALADIN will be able to determine not only the speed, but also the direction of the wind.
Wind measurement scheme
On August 23 at 00:20 Moscow time, the Vega launch vehicle with a satellite was launched from the Kourou cosmodrome in French Guiana. The satellite will operate in a sun-synchronous orbit of the sunrise-sunset type, in which it will constantly fly along the dividing line between the illuminated and dark sides of the planet at an altitude of 320 kilometers. The satellite will make one revolution around the Earth in an hour and a half, and its orbital cycle is 7 days - it is with such an interval that the satellite will collect data on the atmosphere over the same terrain. Satellite data is expected to help improve meteorological models, with the greatest impact on medium-range forecasts over several days.
On Cosmonautics Day, April 12, 2018, we launched the Space Weather project in partnership with the Yandex. Weather service. It contains in a convenient form information about disturbances in the Earth's magnetosphere, X-ray flares on the Sun, the approach of asteroids with our planet and auroras.