The probe Aeolus of the European Space Agency (ESA), aboard the Vega rocket, was launched Tuesday from the European spaceport Kurú, in French Guiana, at 21.20 GMT (23:20 hrs Spanish time). The mission has three years of operational life and has an instrument called Aladin Which will study the winds of the earth. For this purpose he was baptized in Greek mythology as the "guardian of the winds", Aeolus.

The probe will rise up to 32 kilometers above the surface of the earth and from there observe in real time the wind speed, allowing scientists to learn more about wind, pressure, temperature and humidity, as explained by the ESA in a press release.

More accurate weather

What will Aeolus be used for? This satellite will help improved weather accuracy and will help to increase knowledge about the dynamics and tropical processes that are relevant to the variability of the climate.

Better meteorological precision can not only help the agriculture, fishing or transport sector, but also can save lives and protect properties in an emergency situation. But for this we have data even more reliable than we already have. Hence the importance of Aeolus in the study the wind in real time.

Although the recipient of the data is the ground station in Svalbard, Norway, each ground station at high latitudes It is ideal for fast data transfer. What does this mean? Well, every station that receives data from satellites with an antenna of more than 2.4 meters wide can receive data from the probe when they are needed, for example in emergencies. So only it would take three hours to receive them. The data will also be sent to several meteorological offices for use in weather forecasts.

Moreover, with the idea of ​​knowing the wind in real time, ESA has designed data processing so that they can be delivered and read in the same way. fastest possible.

Aladin

Aladdin is the only instrument that Aeolus has with him. but What is Aladin? It is a Doppler wind group, ie a tool that is capable of measure the distance between the satellite and the wind with a laser they are 30 kilometers below him. It provides data on wind profiles, spray cans and clouds.

The instrument is composed of a powerful laser, a large telescope and a very sensitive receiver. According to the space agency, Aladin is the first leader of the wind in space. but How will it work? "The laser system produces short and powerful pulses ultraviolet light in the atmosphere. The telescope collects light that is scattered back and forth from air molecules, dust particles and water droplets. And the receiver analyzes the Doppler shift of the backscattered signal to determine the wind speed at different levels below the satellite, "they explain by their web.

The family is growing

The family of missions Earth Explorer of ESA is growing with this new release. These five missions are meant to solve the scientific challenges on Earth and, above all, it is very connected to the research into climate change and its consequences. Moreover, they do that with advanced technology in observation techniques. In this case, this technology is Aladin.

The other four missions are the CryoSat (on the ice); Proba V (Vegetation) SMOS (water) and swarm (magnetic shield). Although satellites are also found in terrestrial observations sentry (1, 2, 3 and 5-P) within the ESA Copernicus program, which is dedicated to photographing our planet in different ways, also to have more information about the earth. The idea is that these probes offer information about interactions between the atmosphere, the biosphere, the hydrosphere, the cryosphere and the interior of our planet. This will help scientists better understand how the planet works as a system.

The family will continue to grow with different launches that are planned until 2022, but to see the next one, at least until 2020 we have to wait. This year can be foreseen the mission of the biomass has been sent, which focus on studying the state of forests and how they change.

It is about ESA environmental monitoring program "largest in the world"according to the space agency itself. "The program makes a radical change in the way we manage, understand and approach the environment effects of climate changeand to protect daily life, "they explain through their portal online.