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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 02 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 02 Jan 2020

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Intercomparison of wind observations from ESA’s satellite mission Aeolus and the ALADIN Airborne Demonstrator

Oliver Lux1, Christian Lemmerz1, Fabian Weiler1, Uwe Marksteiner1, Benjamin Witschas1, Stephan Rahm1, Alexander Geiss2, and Oliver Reitebuch1 Oliver Lux et al.
  • 1German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt e.V., DLR), Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Oberpfaffenhofen 82234, Germany
  • 2Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Meteorological Institute, 80333 Munich, Germany

Abstract. Shortly after the successful launch of ESA’s wind mission Aeolus, carried out by the European Space Agency, collocated airborne wind lidar observations were performed in Central Europe, employing the prototype of the satellite instrument, the ALADIN Airborne Demonstrator (A2D). Like the direct-detection Doppler wind lidar on-board Aeolus, the A2D is composed of a frequency-stabilised ultra-violet laser, a Cassegrain telescope and a dual-channel receiver to measure line-of-sight (LOS) wind speeds by analysing both Mie and Rayleigh backscatter signals. In the frame of the first airborne validation campaign after the launch still during the commissioning phase of the mission, four coordinated flights along the satellite swath were conducted in late autumn of 2018, yielding wind data in the troposphere with high coverage of the Rayleigh channel. Owing to the different measurement grids and viewing directions of the satellite and airborne instrument, intercomparison with the Aeolus wind product requires adequate averaging as well as conversion of the measured A2D LOS wind speeds to the satellite LOS. The statistical comparison of the two instruments with model wind data from the ECMWF shows biases of the A2D and Aeolus LOS wind speeds of −0.9 m s−1 and +1.6 m s−1, respectively, while the random errors are around 2.5 m s−1. The paper also discusses the influence of different threshold parameters implemented in the comparison algorithm as well as optimization of the A2D vertical sampling to be used in forthcoming validation campaigns.

Oliver Lux et al.
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Oliver Lux et al.
Oliver Lux et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
This work reports on the first airborne validation campaign of ESA’s Earth Explorer mission Aeolus, conducted in Central Europe during the commissioning phase in November 2018. After presenting the methodology used to compare the data sets from the satellite, the airborne wind lidar and the ECWMF model, the wind results from the performed underflights are analyzed and discussed, providing a first assessment of the accuracy and precision of the preliminary Aeolus wind data.
This work reports on the first airborne validation campaign of ESA’s Earth Explorer mission...