Description: Preliminary observations of simultaneous RF and optical emissions from lightning as seen by the FORTE spacecraft are presented. RF/optical pairs of waveforms are routinely collected both as individual lightning events and as sequences of events associated with cloud-to-ground (CG) and intra-cloud (IC) flashes. CG pulses can be distinguished from IC pulses based on the properties of the RF and optical waveforms, but mostly based on the associated RF spectrograms. The RF spectrograms are very similar to previous ground-based VHF observations of lightning and show signatures associated with return strokes, stepped and dart leaders, and attachment processes,. RF emissions are observed to precede the arrival of optical emissions at the satellite by a mean value of 280 microseconds. The dual phenomenology nature of these observations are discussed in terms of their ability to contribute to a satellite-based lightning monitoring mission.
Date: February 1, 1999
Creator: Argo, P.; Franz, R.; Green, J.; Guillen, J.L.; Jacobson, A.R.; Kirkland, M. et al.
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