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Lightning Imaging Sensor on ISS (LIS on ISS)

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Status: Current, Extended Mission
Mission Category: Other
Launch Date: February 19, 2017
Launch Location: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Designed Life: February 19, 2019

In addition to the Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) that flew onboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), the LIS flight spare for TRMM has now been delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) for a two year or longer mission to observe global lightning. LIS on ISS will not only extend the impressive 17-year record of tropical lighting observations from TRMM, but will expand the latitudinal coverage to higher latitudes missed by TRMM – now observing lightning to 55 degrees latitude North and South. The new ISS measurements will also be used to help calibrate and validate observations from the new Geostationary Lightning Mapper that was launched in November 2016 on NOAA’s newest weather satellite, GOES-16. However, one of the most important science objectives of this mission will be to better understand the processes that cause lightning, as well as the connections between lightning and subsequent severe weather events. Finally, as a unique capability, LIS on ISS will provide real time lightning data (using two minute processing windows) using the ISS Low Rate Telemetry channel. This capability was desired by NASA Headquarters and strongly endorsed by a number of NOAA operational partners, including the National Weather Service (NWS) Pacific Region, NWS Ocean Prediction Center, the NWS Aviation Weather Center, and the NOAA National Hurricane Center. The LIS on ISS will provide real time lightning for data sparse regions, especially over the ocean. The LIS on ISS was approved for the space station in mid-April 2013, and launched to the ISS aboard the SpaceX Falcon9 Cargo Resupply Service-10 (CRS-10) launch vehicle on February 19, 2017.

Key Lightning Imaging Sensor on ISS Facts

Launch Vehicle: Space X
Altitude:Distance from sea level. 420km
Inclination: 51.65°
Origination: NASA
Instruments: LIS (Lightning Imaging Sensor)
Project Scientist(s): Richard Blakeslee