In August ESA will launch a new Earth Explorer mission: Aeolus.
The launch will take place on top of a VEGA from Europe's Spaceport in French Guyane.
Aeolus is the first space mission to acquire profiles of the wind on a global scale. These near-realtime observations will improve the accuracy of numerical weather and climate prediction and advance our understanding of tropical dynamics and processes relevant to climate variability.
Although weather forecasts have advanced considerably in recent years, meteorologists urgently need reliable wind-profile data to improve accuracy further.
ESA’s Aeolus wind mission will demonstrate that measuring global wind-profiles from space, using laser technology, can meet this requirement.
Aeolus is the fifth in the family of ESA’s Earth Explorer missions, which address key scientific challenges identified by the science community and demonstrate breakthrough technology in observing techniques.More information at: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Aeolus