Global survey of upper atmospheric transient luminous events on the ROCSAT-2 satellite

J. L. Chern, R. R. Hsu, H. T. Su, S. B. Mende, H. Fukunishi, Y. Takahashi, L. C. Lee

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121 Citations (Scopus)


Upper atmospheric transient luminous events (TLEs; sprite, elves, blue jet, etc.) are recently discovered thunderstorm-induced phenomena. Imager of sprites/upper atmospheric lightning (ISUAL) is a scientific payload on the Taiwan's ROCSAT-2 satellite that aims primarily to provide crucial observation data on these TLEs from space. The ISUAL payload includes an intensified CCD imager, a six-channel spectrophotometer, and two array photometers. All the instruments are mounted on a common platform and boresighted in the same direction. The imager is equipped with six selectable filters, which have bandpasses covering the visible spectrum. The spectrophotometer contains six photometers, and each photometer is fitted with a special bandpass filter ranging from ultraviolet to red regions. The two array photometers are identical in every aspect, except one is fitted with a blue band filter and another one is equipped with a red band filter. With this set of well-chosen instrument, this project seeks to determine the location and timing of upper atmospheric transient events above thunderclouds, to investigate their spatial, temporal and spectral properties, to obtain a global survey of them, and to perform a global study of aurora and airglow. ISUAL project is an international collaboration supported by the National Space Program Office in Taiwan, with additional contributions from the National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan, the Space Science Laboratory of the University of California at Berkeley, and Tohoku University, Japan. ROCSAT-2, the platform of ISUAL, is scheduled to launch around October 2003.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-659
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science


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