The manuscript addresses the need for tropospheric and stratospheric wind profiles and discusses capabilities to fulfil such need. To follow up the Aeolus mission an international operational UV Doppler Wind Lidar constellation is suggested.
The Aeolus mission objectives are to improve Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) and enhance the understanding and modelling of atmospheric dynamics on global and regional scale. Given the first successes of Aeolus in NWP, it is time to look forward to future vertical wind profiling capability to fulfil the rolling requirements in operational meteorology.
Requirements for wind profiles and information on vertical wind shear are constantly evolving. The need for high-quality wind and profile information to capture and initialize small-amplitude, fast-evolving and mesoscale dynamical structures increases, as the resolution of global NWP improved well into the 3D turbulence regime on horizontal scales smaller than 500 km. In addition, advanced requirements to describe the transport and dispersion of atmospheric constituents and better depict the circulation on climate scales are well recognized.
Direct wind profile observations over the oceans, tropics and Southern Hemisphere are not provided by the current global observing system. Looking to the future most other wind observation techniques rely on cloud or regions of water vapour and are necessarily restricted in coverage. Therefore, after its full demonstration, an operational Aeolus-like follow-on mission obtaining globally-distributed wind profiles in clear air by exploiting molecular scattering remains unique.