Europes new wind-mapping satellite Aeolus launched

What in news:

  Europes new wind-mapping satellite Aeolus launched, to improve worldwide weather forecasts

About news:

  The Aeolus satellite will be the first to directly measure wind speeds and directions all over the globe, allowing scientists to improve worldwide weather forecasts.

  Named after the keeper of the winds in Greek mythology, the probe lifted off

  Straume said that computer models for predicting future weather rely heavily on four pieces of information about the atmosphere: temperature, pressure, humidity and winds.

  Data on air movements are currently collected from the ground or, indirectly, by observing waves and clouds from planes or space.

About Aeolus:

  Aeolus is equipped with a so-called lidar nicknamed Aladin that fires powerful pulses of ultraviolet laser light into the atmosphere and then observes which way they are scattered when they bounce off tiny particles in the air.

  By comparing the wavelength of the light when it goes out to the wavelength when it returns, scientists can calculate which way the air is moving.

  The process known as the Doppler effect is familiar to most people from the way the sound of an ambulance changes whether its moving toward or away from the listener.

  Importantly, Aeolus will close a gap scientists have when it comes to measuring winds at altitudes between 10-30 kilometers (six and 18 miles).

  It will also be able to collect data from areas where ground-based weather stations dont exist, such as in remote regions on land or at sea.

  The satellite will orbit Earth every 90 minutes, beaming data to a ground station on Norways Arctic island of Svalbard from where they will be sent to the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts in Reading, England.

  The European Space Agency said it hopes real-time wind measurements will also help predict extreme weather and climate change more accurately.

European Space Agency

  The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe's gateway to space.

  Its mission is to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

  The European Space Agency is an intergovernmental organisation of 22 member states dedicated to the exploration of space.

  Established in 1975 and headquartered in Paris, France


Expected prelims question

Consider the following statements

1.      Aeolus satellite will be the first to directly measure wind speeds and directions all over the globe

2.      Aeolus satellite launched by European space agency

Which of the above statements are/is correct?

a)      Only 1

b)      Only 2

c)      Both 1 and 2

d)      None of above

Ans c

Expected mains question

Europe has recently launched wind-mapping satellite Aeolus, to improve worldwide weather forecasts. Discuss.