Wind satellite survives vacuum
07 February 2018
ESA's Aeolus satellite has been particularly tricky to build. One of the main stumbling blocks has been getting its lasers to work in a vacuum, but recent tests on the satellite show that the vacuum or temperature of space won't get in the way of Aeolus measuring Earth's winds.
Aeolus carries one of the most sophisticated instruments ever to be put into orbit: Aladin, with two powerful lasers, a large telescope and very sensitive receivers.
It shoots pulses of ultraviolet light down into the atmosphere and measures the backscattered signals from molecules and aerosols to profile the world's winds.
Top story on Copernicus
02 February 2018
After being put through its paces to make sure it is fit for life in orbit around Earth, the Copernicus Sentinel-3B satellite is ready to be packed up and shipped to Russia for liftoff.
Its twin, Sentinel-3A, has been in orbit since February 2016, systematically measuring our oceans, land, ice and atmosphere. The information feeds a range of practical applications and is used for monitoring and understanding large-scale global dynamics.
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