Digital Still Photography of Weakly Luminous Electrical Breakdown Phenomena

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 4:15 PM
225AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Harald E. Edens, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM

Recent advances in digital still camera technology have permitted high-resolution and low-noise color photography of electrical breakdown processes of low luminosity in the atmosphere. Over the past years visual and photographic observations have been made of a number of such phenomena at Langmuir Laboratory in south-central New Mexico. The observations can be correlated with data from other remote-sensing instrumentation, such as the Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) and electric-field-change sensors, to gain a better understanding of breakdown processes. Several example cases are presented to illustrate the usefulness of digital still photography in augmenting other remote-sensing instrumentation, including a screening charge flash that produced a blue starter, streamers and space leaders on cloud-to-air negative leaders at high altitude, sprites, and corona discharge.