Global lightning and sprite measurements from international space station

Tomoo Ushio, Mitsuteru Sato, Takeshi Morimoto, Makoto Suzuki, Atsushi Yamazaki, Yasuhide Hobara, Masayuki Kikuchi, Umran Inan, Ivan Linscott, Hiroshi Kikuchi, Ryohei Ishida, Yukihiro Takahashi, Toru Adachi, Yuji Sakamoto, Zen Ichiro Kawasaki

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The Global Lightning and sprIte MeasurementS (GLIMS) on the International Space Station (ISS) is a mission to detect and locate optical transient luminous events (TLEs) and its associated lightning simultaneously from the non-sun synchronous orbit, and was launched successfully in July, 2012 as part of the multi-mission consolidated equipment on Japanese Exposure Module (JEM). Our mission goals are to identify temporal and spatial evolutions of lightning and TLEs and to clarify the occurrence conditions of TLEs and global occurrence locations and rates of TLEs from the nadir observation. To achieve these goals, two CMOS cameras, six Photometers, VLF receiver, and VHF interferometer with two antennas, are installed at the bottom of the module to observe the TLEs as well as causative lighting discharges at nadir direction during day and night time. Though the luminous events so-called sprite, elves and jets have been investigated by numerous researchers all over the world based mainly on the ground observations, some important problems have not been fully understood yet such as generation mechanisms of columniform fine structure and horizontal offset of some sprites from the parent lightning discharges. In the JEM-GLIMS mission, observations from our synchronized sensors are going to shed light on above-mentioned unsolved problems regarding TLEs as well as causative lighting discharges. JEM-GIMS was successfully launched and transported to the ISS by the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) No.3 cargo transporter at the end of July 2012, and started its operation from December 2012. So far, more than one thousand events were recorded. In this paper, we present on the mission overview, examples of the observation results, and several initial analysis for the observed events such as on the identification of the intra-cloud and ground flashes from optical measurements and lightning location from the broad band interferometry at VHF band.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event15th International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity, ICAE 2014 - Norman, United States
Duration: 2014 Jun 152014 Jun 20


Conference15th International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity, ICAE 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science
  • Geophysics


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