Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UAH Scientists Ship Instrument That Will Expand View of Global Lightning

12.02.2015

An expanded view of lightning around the globe is coming closer for scientists at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), thanks to a repurposed measuring instrument.

UAH researchers have passed NASA qualifying inspections and shipped out a Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) in preparation for its planned March 2016 flight to the International Space Station (ISS). The instrument, dubbed ISS LIS, was originally built as a flight spare for a LIS mission that launched in November 1997 aboard NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM). That instrument is still in operation today.


Michael Mercier / UAH

The complete ISS LIS awaits packing for a trip to Johnson Space Center in Texas.

Like the LIS that flew before it, the current ISS LIS is a space-based instrument used to detect the distribution and variability of total cloud-to-cloud, intracloud and cloud-to-ground lightning that occurs in the tropical regions of the globe.

Funded by NASA, ISS LIS is being shipped to the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas, where it will be integrated onto the Space Test Program H5 spacecraft as one of 10 instruments. The integrated H5 spacecraft will then undergo environmental testing at JSC through August of 2015.

... more about:
»ISS »NASA »Space »Space Center »TRMM »UAH »activity »lightning »spacecraft

The H5 will then be shipped to NASA Kennedy Space Center for integration onto the EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to Space Station (EXPRESS) Pallet Adapter (ExPA). The ExPA will in turn be attached to a SpaceX Dragon Capsule for the 2016 launch.

“The ISS LIS will be integrated onto the Space Test Program H5 spacecraft at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, where it will undergo testing through August 2015,” says Mike Stewart, a UAH Earth Systems Science Center (ESSC) principal research engineer. “The ISS LIS will be one of 10 instruments on the H5.”

Once on-orbit, the ExPA will be robotically mounted to the EXPRESS Logistics Carrier (ELC), which provides the payload interface to the ISS. The ELC will be attached to the ISS truss structure.

In less than 16 months, UAH’s ESSC and Rotorcraft Systems Engineering and Simulation Center (RSESC) designed, manufactured and space-qualified a new Interface Unit to adapt the legacy TRMM/LIS Electronics Unit and Sensor Unit to the STP H5 spacecraft. The legacy TRMM/LIS Units also required adaptations for the STP H5.

“This development is an excellent follow-on to the original LIS, extending our ability to observe global lightning activity over a longer period of time,” says Dr. Hugh Christian, a principal researcher at ESSC and the principal investigator for the ISS LIS instrument. “Further, ISS LIS will be in a higher orbital plane, thus extending our observations to higher latitudes.”

ISS LIS is designed to detect lightning during the daytime and nighttime. It takes 560 images per second and transforms those images into lightning events using specialized electronic processors. ISS LIS will be launched at about the same time as the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM), much of which was also designed and developed at UAH. It will provide important validation data for GLM.

In addition, there will be important complimentary instruments on the space station that will enable researchers to significantly extend knowledge of Terrestrial Gamma ray Flashes (TGF).

“We hope to continue our studies of lightning and severe weather, investigate the relationship between global lightning activity and climate change, provide validation for the GLM, and improve our understanding of TGFs,” says Dr. Christian.

UAH’s ESSC was the ISS LIS technical and scientific lead. The university’s RSESC was the program manager and lead systems engineer.

“RSESC supported ESSC by providing the engineering and program management to complete the project,” says Sue O’Brien, principal research engineer at RSESC.

“UAH worked with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and provided the information and analysis to complete the certification and associated processes,” O’Brien says.

“We prepared this payload for flight and are ready for delivery to NASA’s Space Test Program in just over a year, which was quite an accomplishment for the team,” O’Brien says. “We are looking forward to the knowledge gained from ISS LIS and what UAH can accomplish in space in the years to come.”

ISS LIS carries forward a long UAH pedigree in space-based lightning research, Dr. Christian says.

“I started working on the concept of space-based lightning observations in 1980,” he says. “Our first instrument, the Optical Transient Detector (OTD) was launch in April 1995.”

Contact Information
Jim Steele
Research Writer/Editor
jim.steele@uah.edu
Phone: 256-824-2772

Jim Steele | newswise
Further information:
http://www.uah.edu

Further reports about: ISS NASA Space Space Center TRMM UAH activity lightning spacecraft

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'
26.05.2017 | University of Leicester

nachricht Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect
24.05.2017 | Vienna University of Technology

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>