Simultaneous observations of optical lightning from space and LF band lightning waveforms from the ground

Hiroshi Kikuchi, Mitsuteru Sato, Tomoo Ushio, Takeshi Morimoto, Masayuki Kikuchi, Atsushi Yamazaki, Makoto Suzuki, Ryohei Ishida, Yuji Sakamoto, Ting Wu, Zen Kawasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Observations of optical lightning data with a photometer (PH4) at wavelengths of 599–900 nm on the International Space Station were conducted simultaneously with observations of low-frequency (LF) electromagnetic waves with a ground-based LF lightning locating system. The relationship between the PH4 light curve and electromagnetic waveforms in the LF band was examined for 11 lightning events. The PH4 sensor detected a small optical change even for weak light emitted from lightning discharges in clouds, including preliminary breakdown. Particularly, return strokes, including subsequent return strokes, showed a clear relationship between radiated LF waves and optical waveforms. For negative return strokes, we found a clear correlation between the absolute optical intensity and peak current. The slope of the regression line is 9.7 × 10−8 kA W−1 with an intercept of 9.9 kA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1123-1131
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 28


  • International Space Station
  • electromagnetic waveforms
  • lightning
  • optical lightning data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Simultaneous observations of optical lightning from space and LF band lightning waveforms from the ground'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this