AeolusThe first laser transmitter has completed an endurance test in near-vacuum conditions with overall positive results. Specific performance issues are being analysed and refurbishment will be carried out before formal qualification for flight.The master oscillator of the second flight laser transmitter is aligned and tests show good performance.Refurbishment of the transmitting and receiving optics has almost been completed and the delta-qualification of the main optical bench is now in preparation.
Aeolus carries a pioneering instrument called Aladin that uses laser light scattering and the Doppler effect to gather data on wind. The laser generates high-energy UV light, which is beamed towards Earth through a telescope. As the light travels down through the atmosphere, it bounces off molecules of gas, particles of dust and droplets of water.This scatters some of the light in all directions, including back to the satellite where it is recorded by Aladin. By comparing the shift in frequency of the received light from the transmitted light caused by the Doppler effect, the motion of the molecules in the atmosphere can be measured, revealing wind velocity. The laser transmitter is being developed by Selex-ES in Italy.
Today, ESA and Arianespace signed a contract to secure the launch of the Aeolus satellite. With this milestone, a better understanding of Earth’s winds is another step closer.The contract, worth €32.57 million, was signed at ESA headquarters in Paris, France, by ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Josef Aschbacher, and CEO of Arianespace, Stéphane Israël.Josef Aschbacher said, “Aeolus has certainly had its fair share of problems. However, with the main technical hurdles resolved and the launch contract now in place, we can look forward to it lifting off on a Vega rocket from French Guiana, which we envisage happening by the end of 2017.”
World's First Weather-Cracking Wind Satellite Aeolus to Improve Future Forecastshttps://sputniknews.com/europe/201701191049770279-europe-weather-satellite-study/A team of scientists at the Airbus Defense and Space Center in the UK, have bid farewell to a satellite this week, which will allow for more accurate weather predictions, as it was shipped to France for testing, before being launched into space.The satellite, called Aeolus and named after the ruler of the winds in Greek mythology, is a one of a kind instrument that will study Earth's wind patterns from space, using a powerful laser pulse called Aladin.Dr. Ralph Cordey, one of the lead researchers on the Aeolus project, said that the instrument was built to measure the wind in the Earth's atmosphere from space and it will be the first instrument that will be able to do this."The spacecraft will orbit around the Earth and the satellite will carry a laser that fires pulses of ultraviolet light. It carries a telescope that will pick up the faint reflective signals of that light that are scattered by the gas molecules in the Earth's atmosphere and also dust particles and aerosols. It will use the Doppler effect and decide to access the velocity of the dust gas that scatters the signals, so it measures the speed of the air," Dr. Ralph Cordey told Sputnik.Aeolus will orbit the Earth for 3.5 years and during that period it will be used by the Met Office — UK's national weather service — to improve the forecast.Dr. Cordey and his team hope that Aelous will help reduce the uncertainties in understanding weather patterns. The scientists also expect that the satellite will have a lot of impact on the world's tropical areas."Basically weather forecasts use computers that take in observations from satellites and that goes into a big model that predicts what will happen, so by adding this data, that is not in the model at the moment, we hope to improve the forecasts," Dr. Cordey told Sputnik.As a result, it is believed that weather prediction will be more accurate. According to Dr. Cordey, the team expect that it will be a lot more precise and we should see this as soon as the satellite is launched.The idea originated from a mission back in the 1990s. Dr. Cordey said that there have been many attempts and ideas to put lasers into space, and over time the technology to do this has improved.The satellite project, which has been in production since 2003, is a high-powered system and has been worked on by several different teams in various locations around the world."The laser was developed by a team in Italy, the telescope, a team in Toulouse and the satellite that carries the big instrument was developed in Stevenage [UK]," Dr. Cordey told Sputnik."Then there is the Assembly Integration and Test — that's when you are putting together and testing the instrument to see that it works."All the testing is not yet completed and the satellite will be transported to Toulouse [France] for testing to make sure it can stand up to the vibrations of going on a rocket. Then it will go to Belgium to be put in a vacuum chamber to see if it can survive in the vacuum of space. Finally, it will be launched from South America into space," Dr. Cordey added.According to Dr. Cordey and his team, the UK will provide cutting-edge technology, combined with world-leading weather forecasting, which will make it a leading weather research hub.
Aeolus ready for next stepNow that Aeolus is equipped with its Aladin instrument, it is ready to be moved from Airbus Defence and Space in the UK to their facilities in Toulouse, France. There it will start the last round of tests before being shipped to the launch site.- Related article: Wind satellite heads for final tentinghttp://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2017/01/Aeolus_ready_for_next_stepImage credit: Airbus Defence and Space
Jonathan Amos @BBCAmos 10m10 minutes agoJonathan Amos Retweeted Airbus SpaceNow to let's see whether the #Aeolus lidar works end to end in a vacuum at space temps. The last big test. #Wind
Quote Airbus Space Verified account @AirbusSpaceSuccessful vibration tests for @esa’s wind sensing satellite #Aeolus built by @AirbusSpace. #goodvibrationshttps://twitter.com/AirbusSpace/status/844847725044678656
Airbus Space Verified account @AirbusSpaceSuccessful vibration tests for @esa’s wind sensing satellite #Aeolus built by @AirbusSpace. #goodvibrations