The Aeolus wind satellite is prepared for liftoff


Today’s Video of the Day from the European Space Agency introduces the Aeolus wind satellite, which is finally complete and prepared for launch after 16 years of development.

The Aeolus mission will be the first to collect wind data on a global scale. This data will be used to create better climate models that will improve the accuracy of weather forecasts.

Aeolus produces a powerful ultraviolet laser beam that reflects off of air particles in the atmosphere. The changing frequencies of the light that is bounced back to the spacecraft are used to calculate wind speeds at different altitudes.

Next month, Aeolus will be launched on top of a Vega rocket from Kourou in French Guiana.

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: European Space Agency