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ADM-Aeolus: ESA’s Wind Lidar Mission

Paul Ingmann(1) and Anne Grete Straume(2)

(1) ESA/ESTEC, EOP-SMA, 2200 AG Noordwijk, Netherlands
(2) ESA/ESTEC, TEC-EEP, 2200 AG Noordwijk, Netherlands


The ADM-Aeolus mission will demonstrate the capability of a space-borne Doppler Wind Lidar to accurately measure wind profiles in the troposphere and the lower stratosphere (0-30 km). The Mission thus addresses one of the main identified deficiencies of the current Global Observing System. From the backscattered frequency-shifted laser light it will be possible to obtain about 3,000 globally distributed profiles of horizontal line-of-sight winds daily with good vertical resolution. The accuracy of ADM winds, in cloud-free regions and above thick clouds, is expected to be comparable to that of radiosonde wind measurements.

ADM-Aeolus had been selected in 1999 for getting implemented as the second Earth Explorer Core mission. Complementing the technical activities various supporting activities have been initiated addressing scientific aspects like the study on the potential benefit of independent line-of-sight wind observations in case of forecast failures and how scenarios of an operational ADM-Aeolus follow-on could look like. In view of other lidar missions in space also the potential of deriving additional geophysical quantities like cloud or aerosol properties is being studied. An additional topic is the potential benefit of wind profile observations in the lower stratosphere serving the dynamics as well as the atmospheric composition communities.

The launch is scheduled for 2011.


Workshop presentation