Estimating lightning current moment waveforms from satellite optical measurements

Toru Adachi, Steven A. Cummer, Jingbo Li, Yukihiro Takahashi, Rue-Ron Hsu, Han-Tzong Su, Bing-Chih Chen, Stephen B. Mende, Harald U. Frey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


From July 2004 to June 2007, the FORMOSAT-2/ ISUAL spectrophotometer and Duke magnetometer observed clear optical and radio signatures of 12 spriteproducing lightning events. In 10 of these, 777.4-nm luminosity normalized to a distance of 3000 km was almost linearly correlated with current moment with a scaling factor of ∼0.82 MR/kAkm. This finding provides a possible new way to remotely measure lightning current moment, which is critical for understanding the production of sprites, through satellite-based optical measurements. The remaining 2 events had anomalously large scaling factors of ∼3 and ∼8 MR/ kAkm. The concurrent images showed two coincident bright cores of lightning, which suggests complex in-cloud lightning processes may sometimes affect the optical-radio relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL18808
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Sep 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Estimating lightning current moment waveforms from satellite optical measurements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this