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Straume, A. G.; Rennie, M.; Isaksen, L.; de Kloe, J.; Marseille, G.-J.; Stoffelen, A.; Flament, T.; Stieglitz, H.; Dabas, A.; Huber, D.; Reitebuch, O.; Lemmerz, C.; Lux, O.; Marksteiner, U.; Weiler, F.; Witschas, B.; Meringer, M.; Schmidt, K.; Nikolaus, I; Geiss, A.; Flamant, P.; Kanitz, T.; Wernham, D.; Bismarck, J. von; Bley, S.; Fehr, T.; Floberghagen, R.; Parinello, T. (2020): ESA'S SPACE-BASED DOPPLER WIND LIDAR MISSION AEOLUS - FIRST WIND AND AEROSOL PRODUCT ASSESSMENT RESULTS. In: 29th International Laser Radar Conference (ILRC 29), Vol. 237, 01007
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The European Space Agency (ESA) wind mission, Aeolus, hosts the first space-based Doppler Wind Lidar (DWL) world-wide. The primary mission objective is to demonstrate the DWL technique for measuring wind profiles from space, intended for assimilation in Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models. The wind observations will also be used to advance atmospheric dynamics research and for evaluation of climate models. Mission spin-off products are profiles of cloud and aerosol optical properties. Aeolus was launched on 22 August 2018, and the Atmospheric LAser Doppler INstrument (Aladin) instrument switch-on was completed with first high energy output in wind mode on 4 September 2018 [1], [2]. The on-ground data processing facility worked excellent, allowing L2 product output in near-real-time from the start of the mission. First results from the wind profile product (L2B) assessment show that the winds are of very high quality, with random errors in the free Troposphere within (cloud/aerosol backscatter winds: 2.1 m/s) and larger (molecular backscatter winds: 4.3 m/s) than the requirements (2.5 m/s), but still allowing significant positive impact in first preliminary NWP impact experiments. The higher than expected random errors at the time of writing are amongst others due to a lower instrument outand input photon budget than designed. The instrument calibration is working well, and some of the data processing steps are currently being refined to allow to fully correct instrument alignment related drifts and elevated detector dark currents causing biases in the first data product version. The optical properties spin-off product (L2A) is being compared e.g. to NWP model clouds, air quality model forecasts, and collocated ground-based observations. Features including optically thick and thin particle and hydrometeor layers are clearly identified and are being validated.