Aeolus Calibration and Validation

On August 22nd, at 20 minutes past midnight (CEST), a Vega rocket lifted off from French Guiana carrying the Aeolus satellite. 55 minutes later the satellite separated from the Vega upper stage.

  • Photo: ESA
  • Illustration: ESA

In a polar orbit, the Aeolus phoned back to Earth via the Norwegian Troll Station in the Antarctic.

In Greek mythology Aeolus was known as the keeper of the winds, and the spacecraft is the fifth ESA Earth Explorer which is a family of missions dedicated to investigate the most urgent scientific questions concerning the Earth in our time. Aeolus is set to measure winds by using an onboard laser. It is expected to improve weather forecasts and contribute to our knowledge about atmosphere dynamics.

Andøya Space Center proudly participates in the Aeolus mission. In 2014 the troposphere lidar installed at the ALOMAR Observatory was approved by ESA to join the calibration- and validation of the onboard instruments – which must occur before the spacecraft can begin its science phase. The project, named “High Latitude Calibration and Validation of ADM-Aeolus Aerosol and Cloud Products”, is financed through the ESA PRODEX programme via Norwegian Space Centre. The project will last to spring 2020.

More information about Aeolus is found here: