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

Azores Airlines takes delivery of its first A321neo

Azores Airlines has taken delivery of its first Airbus A321neo aircraft, to become first Portuguese A320neo Family operator.

Serco signs Copernicus data access contract with ESA

Serco's business in Italy has been awarded a contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) to deliver a ground-breaking project to facilitate open and unlimited access to earth observation data and geospatial information collected as

All change at the top of Airbus

The Airbus Board of Directors has today announced executive changes as Tom Enders (59) has advised them he won't seek another term as CEO beyond his current mandate (which runs until the 2019 Annual Shareholders Meeting April 2019)and

ADS highlights industry need for transition agreement in early 2018

ADS said today that although confirmation that talks can start on transition and our future relationship with the EU is welcome progress, industry now needs to see urgent agreement reached on transition arrangements.

Astronaut Tim Peake opens UTC Portsmouth

Two years after blasting off to join the International Space Station, British astronaut Tim Peake formally opened the Roya Navy backed college which will produce the scientists and engineers of tomorrow.

CAA launching new airspace change process

In 2015 the CAA started reviewing its airspace change process and after nearly three years of detailed work and two public consultations, it is now launching its new process which will take effect from 2nd January 2018.

Aviation Africa SK18418
See us at
SMI NCWBT3110020218S&P BT281117080318FIL18 BT111017220718SMI FAVSABT2411120418Aviation Africa BT18418