Europe's Aeolus satellite has started emitting pulses of ultraviolet light from itsas it measures winds around the Earth.
The goal of the Aeolus project is improve scientists' understanding of how our atmosphere works and to improve.
Its laser emits 50 powerful pulses of ultraviolet light per second into the atmosphere and measures signals from air molecules, dust particles and water droplets to build a profile of wind speeds in the lowermost 30 km (19 miles) of the atmosphere.
"We have pioneered new technology for one of the largest data gaps in meteorology -- global wind profiles in cloud-free atmosphere," said Josef Aschbacher, ESA's director of earth observation programs.
ESA didn't immediately respond to a request for further comment.
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