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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2013-08-31
    Description: An examination and preliminary analysis of video images of thunderstorms as seen by a payload bay TV camera of the Space Shuttle provided examples of lightning in the stratosphere above thunderstorms. These images were obtained on several recent Shuttle flights while conducting the Mesoscale Lightning Experiment (MLE). MLE was an experiment to obtain night time images from space of large storm complexes with lightning. These images are used to provide data for the design of specialized instrumentation which will provide quantitative measurements of global lightning. Eight video sequences were selected because they illustrate near vertical discharges in the stratosphere above thunderstorms. Although there are previous reports in the literature, these are the first images from the viewpoint of an orbiting spacecraft. The written material is primarily a companion to a video presentation.
    Keywords: METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY
    Type: NASA. Kennedy Space Center, The 1991 International Aerospace and Ground Conference on Lightning and Static Electricity, Volume 2; 9 p
    Format: application/pdf
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2004-12-03
    Description: The Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) is a NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) instrument on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) platform designed to acquire and investigate the distribution and variability of total lightning (i.e., cloud-to-ground and intracloud) between q35' in latitude. Since lightning is one of the responses of the atmosphere to thermodynamic and dynamic forcing, the LIS data is being used to detect deep convection without land-ocean bias, estimate the precipitation mass in the mixed phased region of thunderclouds, and differentiate storms with strong updrafts from those with weak vertical motion.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: 11th International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity; 746-749; NASA/CP-1999-209261
    Format: text
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2004-12-03
    Description: Since April 1995, lightning activity around the globe has been monitored with the Optical Transient Detector (OTD). The OTD observations acquired during the one year period from September 1995 through August 1996 have been used to statistically determine the number of flashes that occur over the Earth during each hour of the diurnal cycle, expressed both as a function of local time and universal time. The globally averaged local [il,htnina activity displays a peak in late afternoon (1500-1800 local time) and a minimum in the morning hours (0600- 1000 local time) consistent with convection associated with diurnal heating. No diurnal variation is found for oceanic storms. The diurnal lightning distribution (universal time) for the globe displays a variation of about 35% about its mean as compared to the Carnegie curve which has a variation of only 15% above and below the mean.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: 11th International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity; 742-745; NASA/CP-1999-209261
    Format: text
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2004-12-03
    Description: The Optical Transient Detector (OTD) is a space-based instrument specifically designed to detect and locate lightning discharges (intracloud and cloud-to-ground) as it orbits the Earth. A statistical examination of OTD lightning data reveals that nearly 1.2 billion flashes occurred over the entire earth during the one year period from September 1995 through August 1996. This translates to an average of 37 lightning flashes occurring around the globe every second, which is well below the traditional estimate of 100 flashes per second. An average of 75% of the global lightning activity during the year occurs between 30' S and 30' N. An analysis of the annual lightning distribution reveals that an average of 82% of the lightning flashes occur over the continents and 18% over the oceans, which translates to an average land-ocean flash density ratio of nearly 11.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: 11th International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity; 726-729; NASA/CP-1999-209261
    Format: text
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2004-12-03
    Description: For the past century, scientists have made quantitative measurements of lightning discharges. In the process, they refined the definition of a lightning unit, or basic quantum of lightning, in order to base it on observable parameters. In this paper, we will use cluster analysis to derive a basic spatial and temporal definition or scale length for the unit of lightning. We will use data from three different systems that detected pulses from the same storm complex over Central Oklahoma during June, 1998. Since the different instruments detect lightning in different ways with different resolutions, there may not be a single definition of the unit of lightning that can be applied to all three systems. However, common components can be found since all instrumentation are detecting aspects of the same phenomenon.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: 11th International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity; 166-169; NASA/CP-1999-209261
    Format: text
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-07-17
    Description: This study compares the lightning locations reported by the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) with the lightning locations determined by the Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS). The NLDN system identifies the rf signature of cloud-to-ground lightning. The LIS data is the top level of a hierarchy of optical data objects. The centroid and timing of each LIS lightning activity center are compared with each flash in a subset of the NLDN long range lightning location data in a portion of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea consisting of those locations more than 625 km from any sensor. This subset is produced by analyzing each reported NLDN location to determine if that location is within the LIS field of view at the time of the reported flash. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Satellite (TRMM) orbit limits the cross-sensor comparison to tropical and sub-tropical regions. Because the rf-detection system depends on ionospheric propagation conditions, a separate analysis was made for daylight conditions at both source and sensor as well as nighttime at both places. A full year of data is compared to provide an adequate sample of each data set. Confirmation of lightning in the general location of the NLDN report is established when LIS detected one or more centers of lightning activity within a 2 degree radius from the NLDN location.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: Dec 16, 2000; San Francisco, CA; United States
    Format: text
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2011-08-24
    Description: An examination and analysis of video images of lightning, captured by the payload bay TV cameras of the space shuttle, provided a variety of examples of lightning in the stratosphere above thunderstorms. These images were obtained on several recent shuttle flights while conducting the Mesoscale Lightning Experiment (MLE). The images of stratospheric lightning illustrate the variety of filamentary and broad vertical discharges in the stratosphere that may accompany a lightning flash. A typical event is imaged as a single or multiple filament extending 30 to 40 km above a thunderstorm that is illuminated by a series of lightning strokes. Examples are found in temperate and tropical areas, over the oceans, and over the land.
    Keywords: METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY
    Type: Journal of Geophysical Research (ISSN 0148-0227); 100; D1; p. 1465-1475
    Format: text
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-07-18
    Description: The Optical Transient Detector (OTD) is a space-based instrument specifically designed to detect and locate lightning discharges as it orbits the Earth. This instrument is a scientific payload on the MicroLab-1 satellite that was launched into a low-earth, 70 deg. inclination orbit in April 1995. Given the orbital trajectory of the satellite, most regions of the earth are observed by the OTD instrument more than 400 times during a one year period, and the average duration of each observation is 2 minutes. The OTD instrument optically detects lightning flashes that occur within its 1300x1300 sq km field-of-view during both day and night conditions. A statistical examination of OTD lightning data reveals that nearly 1.4 billion flashes occur annually over the entire earth. This annual flash count translates to an average of 44 +/- 5 lightning flashes (intracloud and cloud-to-ground combined) occurring around the globe every second, which is well below the traditional estimate of 100 flashes per second that was derived in 1925 from world thunder-day records. The range of uncertainty for the OTD global totals represents primarily the uncertainty (and variability) in the flash detection efficiency of the instrument. The OTD measurements have been used to construct lightning climatology maps that demonstrate the geographical and seasonal distribution of lightning activity for the globe. An analysis of this annual lightning distribution confirms that lightning occurs mainly over land areas, with an average land:ocean ratio of 10:1. A dominant Northern Hemisphere summer peak occurs in the annual cycle, and evidence is found for a tropically-driven semiannual cycle.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Format: text
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-07-17
    Description: The Optical Transient Detector (OTD) is a space-based instrument specifically designed to detect and locate lightning discharges (intracloud and cloud-to-ground) as it orbits the Earth. A statistical examination of OTD lightning data reveals that nearly 1.2 billion flashes occurred over the entire earth during the one year period from September 1995 through August 1996. This translates to an average of 37 lightning flashes occurring around the globe every second, which is well below the traditional estimate of 100 flashes per second. An average of 75% of the global lightning activity during the year occurs between 30 deg S and 30 deg N. An analysis of the annual lightning distribution reveals that an average of 82% of the lightning flashes occur over the continents and 18% over the oceans, which translates to an average land-ocean flash density ratio of nearly 11.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: Atmospheric Electricity; Jun 07, 1999 - Jun 11, 1999; Guntersville, AL; United States
    Format: text
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019-07-17
    Description: The long range component of the North American Lightning Detection Network has been providing experimental data products since July 1996, offering cloud-to-ground lightning coverage throughout the Atlantic and Western Pacific oceans, as well as south to the Intertropical Convergence Zone. The network experiences a strong decrease in detection efficiency with range, which is also significantly modulated by differential propagation under day, night and terminator-crossing conditions. A climatological comparison of total lightning data observed by the Optical Transient Detector (OTD) and CG lightning observed by the long range network is conducted, with strict quality control and allowance for differential network performance before and after the activation of the Canadian Lightning Detection Network. This yields a first-order geographic estimate of long range network detection efficiency and its spatial variability. Intercomparisons are also performed over the continental US, allowing large scale estimates of the midlatitude climatological IC:CG ratio and its possible dependence on latitude.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: Dec 13, 1999 - Dec 17, 1999; San Francisco, CA; United States
    Format: text
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