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The tail of the NASA DC-8 | by EJRDLR
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The tail of the NASA DC-8

For accurate weather forecasts and improved climate models, it is crucial to capture data about the winds over the North Atlantic as precisely as possible. Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have developed a prototype of a wind lidar (light detection and ranging) that is scheduled for deployment on a new European Space Agency (ESA) weather satellite in late 2016.


In May 2015, DLR is using its Falcon research aircraft to test an aircraft-based version of the wind measurement laser technology. From their temporary base in Iceland, the researchers are flying over the ice sheets of southern Greenland. As they do so, another proven wind lidar that was used over Iceland to take volcanic ash measurements during the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 is being used as a reference and comparison instrument on board the Falcon. The United States aerospace agency, NASA, is also in Iceland, supporting the campaign with its own research aircraft and measurement equipment.


On the trail of Icelandic depressions – DLR tests new laser measurement technology in flights over Greenland -


Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0).

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Taken on May 27, 2015