A set of space lasers designed to track the earth’s winds are a step closer to being launched.
New Satellite to provide better weather forecasts
In a bid to aid researchers on getting data concerning the Earths climate, scientists have developed a satellite that can help measure wind and other parameters on a global scale.
The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Aeolus mission will use these wind-measuring lasers to help develop better weather forecasts, learn more about the working processes of the weather, and accrue data on clouds, among other uses.
The lasers are part of a LIDAR system called Aladin. The system beams ultraviolet (UV) light to Earth, and then the Aladin telescope measures how much of that light is scattered back to the satellite, says the ESA.
By comparing the change in these “backscattered” frequency to the original laser frequency, researchers can learn more about winds on the planet.
Right now, there is no accurate method or way for researchers to measure wind on a global scale.
“Currently, wind information is either derived from temperature observations and is hence low resolution, or is measured directly but does not cover the whole globe,” ESA officials wrote in a fact sheet.
According to the ESA, researchers need this kind of data to prepare forecasts that are more accurate. Information collected by the satellite will also help scientists that are doing research on global warming, space agency officials added.
The mission still needs to get through a certain number of tests before it will be ready to launch, but once its launched it is expected to remain in service for about three years.
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