EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Aeolus Calibration, Validation and Science Campaigns

Thorsten Fehr1, Vassilis Amiridis2, Sebastian Bley3, Philippe Cocquerez4, Christian Lemmerz5, Griša Močnik6, Gail Skofronick-Jackson7, and Anne Grete Straume1
Thorsten Fehr et al.
  • 1ESA, Earth Observation Science, Applications and Future Technology Department, Noordwijk, Netherlands (
  • 2IAASARS , National Observatory of Athens, Penteli, Greece
  • 3ESA, Earth Observation Ground Segment Department, Frascati, Italy
  • 4CNES, Toulouse, France
  • 5Institute für Physik der Atmosphäre, DLR, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 6Center for Atmospheric Research, University of Nova Gorica, Ajdovščina, Slovenia
  • 7Science Mission Directorate, NASA, Washington, USA

Since 2007, a series of ESA supported airborne campaigns have been essential to the development of the Aeolus Doppler Wind Lidar satellite mission, which was successfully launched on 22 September 2018 and is providing a novel wind and aerosol profile data.

A core element of the Aeolus Cal/Val activities is DLR’s A2D wind lidar on-board the DLR Falcon aircraft, an airborne demonstrator for the Aeolus ALADIN satellite instrument flown in combination with the 2-µm Doppler Wind Lidar reference system. Following the pre-launch WindVal-I and –II campaigns in 2015 and 2016, a number of calibration and validation campaigns have been successfully implemented: WindVal-III providing early Cal/Val results in November 2018 only three months after the Aeolus launch, AVATAR-E in May 2019 focussing on the Cal/Val over Central Europe, and AVATAR-I in September 2019 providing Cal/Val information in the North Atlantic and Arctic flying from Iceland.

The airborne validation is also being supported through balloon flights in the tropical UTLS and lower stratosphere in the frame of the CNES Stratéole-2 stratospheric balloon activities. In the frame of the ESA supported pre-Stratéole-2 campaign, eight stratospheric balloons have been launched from the Seychelles in November/December 2019 providing unique upper level wind data for the Aeolus validation.

The largest impact of the Aeolus observations is expected in the Tropics, and in particular over the Tropical oceans, where only a limited number of wind profile information is provided by ground based observations. Aeolus provides key direct measurements which are of importance to correctly constrain the wind fields in models. In addition, Aeolus observations have the potential to further enhance our current knowledge on aerosols and clouds by globally providing optical properties products that include atmospheric backscatter and extinction coefficient profiles, lidar ratio profiles and scene classification. In the tropics, a particularly interesting case is the outflow of Saharan dust and its impact on micro-physics in tropical cloud systems. The region off the coast of West Africa allows the study of the Saharan Aerosol layer, African Easterly Waves and Jets, Tropical Easterly Jet, as well as the deep convection in ITCZ. 

Together with international partners, ESA is currently implementing a Tropical campaign in July 2020 with its base in Cape Verde that comprises both airborne and ground-based activities addressing the tropical winds and aerosol validation, as well as science objectives. The airborne component includes the DLR Falcon-20 carrying the A2D and 2-µm Doppler Wind lidars, the NASA P-3 Orion with the DAWN and HALO lidar systems, the APR Ku-, Ka- and W-band Doppler radar and drop sondes, and a Slovenian small aircraft providing in-situ information from aethalometers, nephelometers and optical particle counters. The ground-based component led by the National Observatory of Athens is a collaboration of European teams providing aerosol and cloud measurements with a range of lidar, radar and radiometer systems, as well as a drone providing in-situ aerosol observations. In addition, the participation airborne capabilities by NOAA and LATMOS/Meteo France are currently being investigated.

This paper will provide a summary of the Aeolus campaign focussing on the planned tropical

How to cite: Fehr, T., Amiridis, V., Bley, S., Cocquerez, P., Lemmerz, C., Močnik, G., Skofronick-Jackson, G., and Straume, A. G.: Aeolus Calibration, Validation and Science Campaigns , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19778,, 2020.


Display file

Comments on the display

AC: Author Comment | CC: Community Comment | Report abuse

displays version 3 – uploaded on 05 May 2020, no comments
Citation added, minor corrections
displays version 2 – uploaded on 04 May 2020
Order corrected
displays version 1 – uploaded on 29 Apr 2020, no comments