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Thu, Sep 15, 2016

ESA Selects Arianespace To Launch ADM-Aeolus Satellite

Vega Launcher Will Boost The Spacecraft Into Orbit In 2017

ESA has awarded a contract to Arianespace to launch the ADM-Aeolus satellite, a key mission within the scope of Europe's Earth Explorer program.

ADM-Aeolus will provide global observations of 3D wind profiles from space, enabling scientists to refine the currently known characteristics and improve techniques for modeling and analyzing the Earth's atmosphere. This mission will make a direct contribution to improving the quality of weather forecasts and climatology research. The ADM-Aeolus mission is named after the mortal designated by the gods in Greek mythology as the keeper of the winds.

ADM-Aeolus will be injected into Sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 320 km. It comprises three modules:

  • Aladin (Atmospheric Laser Doppler INstrument), a direct-detection lidar (a laser "radar") incorporating measurements of scattering from aerosols and water droplets ("Mie") and molecular scattering to provide 3D images of wind profiles.
  • A platform based on that used for the Mars Express spacecraft.
  • Solar array.

Airbus Defence and Space is prime contractor for the ADM-Aeolus mission, and is also in charge of the Aladin instrument.

The satellite will be launched from the Guiana Space Center, Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, during the second half of 2017, using a Vega light launch vehicle.

(Source: Arianespace news release. Image from file)

FMI: www.arianespace.com

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