Minimize Mission Objectives

The central aim of the Aeolus mission is to further our knowledge of the Earth's atmosphere and weather systems. By recording and monitoring the weather in different parts of the world, Aeolus will allow scientists to build complex models of our environment, which can then be used to help predict how that environment will behave in the future.

These predictions will be useful in the short-term, since they can be applied to Numerical Weather Prediction in order to make forecasts more accurate. The Aeolus mission will thus improve our knowledge of all sorts of weather phenomena, from global warming to the effects of pollution. 

The measurement data will allow achievement of the primary goals of Aeolus:

  • Provision of accurate wind profiles throughout the troposphere and lower stratosphere eliminating a major deficiency in the Global Observing System
  • Direct contribution to the study of the Earth's global energy budget
  • Provision of data for the study of the global atmospheric circulation and related features, such as precipitation systems, the El Nino and the Southern Oscillation phenomena and stratospheric/tropospheric exchange

The secondary mission objectives are related to the provision of data sets for model variation and short-term "wind climatologies" allowing experts to:

  • Validate climate models through the use of high quality wind profiles from a global measurement system
  • Improve their understanding of atmospheric dynamics and the global atmospheric transport and cycling of energy, water, aerosols, chemicals and other airborne materials
  • Generate a number of derived products such as cloud top altitudes, aerosol properties and tropospheric height

The Aeolus mission is aiming to meet the following set of observational requirements:  

  PBL(*) Troposphere Stratosphere
Height range 0-2 km 2-16 km 16-20 km
Vertical resolution 0.5 km 1.0 km 2.0 km
Horizontal domain
Number of profiles
100 / hour
Profile separation
>200 Km
Temporal sampling
12 hours
Accuracy (component) 2 m/s 2-3 m/s 3 m/s
Horizontal integration
50 km
3 hours
Length of observational data set
3 yrs

(*) PBL = planetary boundary layer

This table outlines the measurement requirements for the Aeolus mission. These are based on information gained from the WCRP and other organisations, which specify the accuracy and complexity of data required by the scientific and meteorological community.