280 Near-Real-Time Lightning Data for Operations and Science Applications from the Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) on the International Space Station (ISS)

Monday, 7 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Richard J. Blakeslee, NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL; and S. J. Goodman, G. T. Stano, S. G. Harrison, K. S. Virts, and D. E. Buechler

As an exciting follow-on to the Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) on the long-lived Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, a space-qualified LIS built as a flight-spare for TRMM has been delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) for a nominal 2 year mission, with an additional 2 year extension being sought. LIS is a hosted payload on the Department of Defense (DoD) Space Test Program-Houston 5 (STP-H5) mission. STP-H5 containing LIS was launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to the ISS on February 19, 2017, aboard the SpaceX Cargo Resupply Services-10 (SpaceX-10) mission, installed in the unpressurized “trunk” of the Dragon spacecraft. Upon arrival at ISS, the payload was robotically installed in a nadir-viewing location on the external truss of the ISS. From there, LIS continuously observes the amount, rate, and radiant energy of lightning within its field-of-view as it orbits the Earth. Therefore, placing LIS on the Space Station serves to not only extend the 17-year TRMM LIS record of tropical lightning measurements but also to expand that coverage to higher latitudes missed by the previous mission. One of the unique contributions provided for the first time from LIS will be the capability to transmit and disseminate lightning data in near real-time, especially for operational applications in data sparse regions such as over oceans to contribute to Nowcasts and warnings for marine transportation and aviation and international Significant Meteorological advisories (SIGMETs). The near real-time LIS data is provided to interested users in partnership with both NASA’s Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE) project and Short Term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) center. Potential operational users include the National Weather Service (NWS) Pacific Region, Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Ocean Prediction Center, Aviation Weather Center, and National Hurricane Center.
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