The Global Lightning and sprIte Measurement (GLIMS) mission on International Space Station

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

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Global Lightning and sprIte MeasurementS (GLIMS) is a mission on the International Space Station (ISS) to detect and locate optical transient luminous events (TLEs) and associated lightning simultaneously from the non-sun-synchronous orbit. It is scheduled to be launched from Japan in January, 2012 as part of the multi-mission consolidated equipment on the Japanese Exposure Module (JEM). Our mission's goals are (1) to detect and locate lightning and sprites within storm scale resolution over a large region of the Earth's surface along the orbital track of the ISS without any bias, (2) to clarify the mechanism by which sprites are generated, and (3) to identify the conditions under which TLEs occur. To achieve these goals, two CMOS cameras, six Photometers, a VLF receiver and VHF interferometer with two antennas are installed at the bottom of the module to observe the TLEs, as well as causative lightning discharges at nadir direction during day and night time. Though the luminous events' so-called sprites, elves and jets have been investigated by numerous researchers all over the world based mainly on ground observations, some important problems have not been fully understood yet. These include the generation mechanisms of columniform fine structures and horizontal offset of some sprites from the parent lightning discharges. In the JEM-GLIMS mission, observations from our synchronized sensors will shed light on the unsolved problems mentioned above regarding TLEs and causative lightning discharges. In this presentation scientific background, instrumentation, and project summaries are given.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)971-976
Number of pages6
JournalIEEJ Transactions on Fundamentals and Materials
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • International Space Station
  • Lightning
  • Transient luminous event


Dive into the research topics of 'The Global Lightning and sprIte Measurement (GLIMS) mission on International Space Station'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this