Multivariate analysis of dim elves from ISUAL observations

Marc Offroy, Thomas Farges, Pierre Gaillard, Cheng Ling Kuo, Alfred Bing Chih Chen, Rue Ron Hsu, Yukihiro Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Imager of Sprites and Upper Atmospheric Lightning (ISUAL) on the FORMOSAT-2 satellite, launched in 2004, records Transient Luminous Events (TLEs). ISUAL has an imager and a spectrophotometer that observe TLEs all over the globe. Among these phenomena, elves are particularly difficult to detect. ISUAL often records events that correspond to significant far ultraviolet (FUV) emissions in the spectrophotometer but have no discernible TLEs in the imager. These FUV events are called “dim” elves. Therefore, it is important to develop mathematical tools to analyze the data to obtain a better evaluation of the number of elves and their occurrence. Multivariate approaches are applied to characterize the unlabeled events. The first approach is the principal component analysis which distinguishes two different groups, one including elves and dim elves. The second approach is the PARallel FACtor analysis which provides a waveform model for each group. These methodologies confirm that FUV signal is the evidence of TLE presence. A crude classification method was then suggested taking into account these results. The proportion of elves, relatively to the considered ISUAL data set, is found to be about 40%. It is similar to previous results and confirms that relatively weak lightning peak current is sufficient to produce elves. This new strategy demonstrates the potential for discriminating between lightning and TLEs without prior knowledge within the selectivity of the FUV spectral band.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7454-7466
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research E: Planets
Volume120
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

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