Modeling elves observed by FORMOSAT-2 satellite

Cheng Ling Kuo, A. B. Chen, Y. J. Lee, L. Y. Tsai, R. K. Chou, R. R. Hsu, H. T. Su, L. C. Lee, S. A. Cummer, H. U. Frey, S. B. Mende, Y. Takahashi, H. Fukunishi

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66 Scopus citations


The ISUAL experiment on the FORMOSAT-2 satellite has confirmed the existence of ionization and Lyman-Birge-Hopfield (LBH) band emissions in elves. In this paper, an in-depth study of the ISUAL recorded elves was carried out. Numerical simulation results of elves based on an electromagnetic finite difference time domain (FDTD) model of the emissions between 185-800 nm and of their spatial-temporal evolution are presented. To account for the effect of atmospheric attenuation, three major attenuation mechanisms: O2, O3, and molecular Rayleigh scattering are considered. Validations of the electromagnetic FDTD model were conducted in three ways: by comparing the calculated and observed photon fluxes in the ISUAL spectrophotometric channels, by directly comparing the simulated and observed morphologies of elves, and by comparing the computed photon counts of the ISUAL Imager based on the derived peak currents for two elve-associated NLDN (National Lightning Detection Network) cloud-to-ground discharges (CGs) with those recorded by the ISUAL Imager. In all three ways, very good agreement was achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA11312
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2007


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