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Three-Dimensional Tropospheric Winds from Space-based Lidar

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3D-Winds will study tropospheric winds for weather forecasting and pollution transport.

Although weather forecasts have improved steadily over the recent decades, the prediction models on which those forecasts are based are limited by a lack of wind measurements over many parts of the globe. Large uncertainties remain in three-dimensional wind data over the oceans, the Southern Hemisphere, and polar and tropical regions. Improved three-dimensional wind data throughout the troposphere (the lowest 8 to 16 kilometers of the atmosphere) would yield concrete benefits, including better day-to-day weather forecasts as well as improved forecasts of hurricane track and intensity, and the transport of air pollutants.

3D-Winds will measure the tropospheric wind fields using two complementary Doppler wind lidars: one in the near-infrared range, well suited for measuring winds in the presence of dust, pollution, or other airborne particles, and the other in the ultraviolet range, detecting molecular-scale Doppler shifts in order to measure winds in air that is relatively pristine. Together, the system will be able to collect wind data across most tropospheric and stratospheric conditions.

Mission objectives:

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Goddard Space Flight Center
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