in Space

Aeolus to leave Stevenage for final testing

Posted 20 January 2017 · Add Comment

The European Space Agency's wind sensing satellite Aeolus is leaving Stevenage in the next few days on the first part of its journey to space.


Copyright Airbus Defence and Space


It will be shipped to Toulouse, France, for final testing before it travels to French Guiana towards the end of the year ready for launch on a Vega launcher.
 
The 1.7-tonne spacecraft, primed by Airbus Defence and Space, features the LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) instrument called Aladin, which uses the Doppler effect to determine the wind speed at varying altitudes. 
 
Aladin fires a powerful ultraviolet laser pulse down through the atmosphere and collects backscattered light, using a large 1.5m diameter telescope, which is then analysed on-board by highly sensitive receivers to determine the Doppler shift of the signal from layers at different heights in the atmosphere.
 
The data from Aeolus will provide reliable wind-profile data on a global scale and is needed by meteorologists to further improve the accuracy of weather forecasts.
 
Andy Stroomer, Head of Earth Observation, Navigation and Science in the UK for Airbus said: “With the shipment of Aeolus we reached a key project milestone and we now look forward to launching Aeolus as the forerunner of an operational system that will contribute significantly to improving weather forecasting.”
 
Beth Greenaway, Head of Earth Observation at the UK Space Agency, said: “It is great to see the Aeolus nearing completion. This is a tangible result of the UK contribution to the ESA EO Envelope programme over many years and is the latest in the Earth Explorer series. These observations will advance our understanding of tropical dynamics and processes relevant to climate variability. Accurate wind forecasts are also vital for commercial undertakings such as farming, fishing, construction and transport. Following the successful ESA Ministerial in December, where the UK allocated more than €1.4 billion over the next five years to European Space Agency programmes, we are looking at taking leading science and industrial roles in many future missions too.”
 
The spacecraft is leaving Stevenage on 29th January and will make its way by road to Toulouse (Intespace) in a special convoy. Testing will involve simulation of the Vega launch environment using special vibration and acoustic facilities. Following this the spacecraft will move on to specialist facilities at CSL in Liege, Belgium where it will undergo thermal vacuum tests to simulate the extremes of the space environment together with full performance testing of the instrument system.
 
Aeolus will fly in a 320 km orbit and have a lifetime of three years.

 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Cranfield University powers-up new Supercomputer

A new High Performance Computer (HPC) has been switched on at Cranfield this week - called Delta - which is faster, provides greater storage capacity and is more energy-efficient than its predecessor.

Dstl's contribution to HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier revealed

With the Queen Elizabeth Carrier (QEC) arriving in Portsmouth for the first time earlier this week, the results of the significant contribution made by the Defence Science and Technical Laboratory (Dstl) - working behind the scenes for

Cornwall's Air Station stars in HMS Queen Elizabeth home port debut

Cornwall's Air Station, RNAS Culdrose this week helped to welcome Britain's future flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth into her home port of Portsmouth for the first time.

Marshall awarded Boeing Performance Excellence Award

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group today announced that it has received a 2016 Boeing Performance Excellence Award.

Inmarsat Jet ConneX used for TCS' custom-configured Boeing 757

TCS World Travel, which specialises in luxury trips by air, has installed Inmarsat partner Rockwell Collins' CabinConnect system onboard its custom-configured Boeing 757, using Inmarsat's Jet ConneX business aviation service to

BMT develops visualisation tool for hazardous scene responders

BMT has developed a mobile application to help responders safely assess hazardous situations. The system processes data captured by drones into real-time 2D and 3D maps of the scene, enabling responders to make fast, informed

MacTag SK0308140917
See us at
SMI12DE BT203280917Aviation Africa BT18418SMI MilSat BT2907101117Advanced Engineering BT1007021117DSEI LB0911150917SMI AirMissBT0305251017SMIUAV BT1005280917SMI FAV BT1007161117