EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Validation for ESA’s Aeolus Mission using the in-situ instruments at Canadian Arctic and reanalysis data

Chih-Chun Chou1, Paul Kushner1, Zen Mariani2, Peter Rodriguez2, and Christopher Fletcher3
Chih-Chun Chou et al.
  • 1University of Toronto, Department of Physics, Toronto, Canada.
  • 2Environment and Climate Change Canada, Meteorological Research Division, Toronto, Canada.
  • 3University of Waterloo, Department of Geography and Environmental Management, Waterloo, Canada.

ESA’s Aeolus mission, launched in August 2018, is designed to capture tropospheric wind profiles on a global scale in near-real time. The Aeolus lidar system, Atmospheric LAser Doppler INstrument (ALADIN), uses two modes of lidar-driven active scattering, Mie and Rayleigh scattering channels, to retrieve horizontal line-of-sight (HLOS) winds under both clear and cloudy conditions. ESA Aeolus aims to improve numerical weather and climate prediction, and to advance understanding of atmospheric circulation and weather systems.

This presentation will describe the Canadian validation activities for ESA Aeolus level-2B product, coordinated by the University of Toronto’s Department of Physics and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). The main focus is the evaluation of Aeolus overpasses using the fifth major global reanalysis produced by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF ERA5), and in-situ measurements at Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) Iqaluit and Whitehorse supersites where several wind sensing instruments are co-located. It will compare the Aeolus HLOS winds with the profiles of wind vector from regular radiosonde launches, line-of-sight winds from Doppler Lidar and Ka-Band Radar. The accuracy of the Aeolus measurements is analyzed based on the type of scattering and natural variability of the wind on different levels.

The radiosonde measures the profiles of temperature, relative humidity, pressure, and winds twice a day with a vertical resolution of 15 m up to 30 km. On the other hand, the Mie scattered 1.5 micron Doppler Lidar retrieves LOS winds at every 3 m as well as aerosol backscatter and depolarization ratio every 5 minutes up to 3 km. Lastly, for every 10 minutes, the dual-polarization Doppler Ka-Band Radar measures the LOS wind speed and direction, cloud and fog backscatter, and depolarization ratio up to a range of 25 km with a vertical resolution of 10 m.

The wind profiles were directly compared to the profiles derived from other instruments or reanalysis. The vertical structure of the Aeolus winds, for example the wind shear, will also be compared and discussed. The validation results showed that Aeolus is providing some promising initial products and that the ERA5 reanalysis is the most consistent dataset with the Aeolus wind measurements from level-2B product.

How to cite: Chou, C.-C., Kushner, P., Mariani, Z., Rodriguez, P., and Fletcher, C.: Validation for ESA’s Aeolus Mission using the in-situ instruments at Canadian Arctic and reanalysis data, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-13461,, 2020.

This abstract will not be presented.


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