Temporal and radiometric statistics on lightning flashes observed from space with the ISUAL spectrophotometer

Marc Offroy, Thomas Farges, Cheng Ling Kuo, Alfred Bing Chih Chen, Rue Ron Hsu, Han Tzong Su, Yukihiro Takahashi, Stephen B. Mende, Harald U. Frey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Imager of Sprites and Upper Atmospheric Lightning (ISUAL) on the FORMOSAT-2 satellite was launched in 2004 and records transient luminous events (TLEs). ISUAL is an instrument composed of an imager and a multichannel spectrophotometer which is able to measure the brightness from far ultraviolet to near infrared for TLEs and lightning flashes. Several types of TLEs have been identified, classified, and documented between 2004 and 2014. However, no statistical analyses on lightning have already been realized. In this paper, we focus on lightning flashes which did not induce TLEs. Statistics about brightness or temporal dynamic are presented from fitted waveforms from far ultraviolet to near infrared, after having corrected for atmospheric effects for each spectrophotometer channels. We demonstrate that the lightning/satellite distance and the altitude of the lightning need to be taken into account. The lightning waveforms from each spectrophotometer channel could be modeled as an exponential pulsed function which the shape could be explained by the photon propagation in the cloud. The median values at 777.4nm are 1.63 × 10-6Wm-2 for the maximum brightness, 5.85 × 104 J for the total energy at the source, 414 µs for the full width half maximum, 620 µs for the full width at quarter of maximum, and 170 µs for the risetime. Results are compared with previous experiments performed from visible to near-infrared domains. The median temporal variables for near-infrared waveforms are shorter than the values of the UV waveforms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7586-7598
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research E: Planets
Volume120
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Temporal and radiometric statistics on lightning flashes observed from space with the ISUAL spectrophotometer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this