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Joint ground based and spaceborne observations of the LEONA Network and the International Space Station

Grant number: 21/15209-9
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: August 01, 2022 - July 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Geosciences - Geophysics
Principal Investigator:Eliah Fernanda de Maria de São Sabbas Tavares
Grantee:Eliah Fernanda de Maria de São Sabbas Tavares
Host Institution: Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE). Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação (Brasil). São José dos Campos , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Antonio Cassiano Julio Filho ; Douglas Messias Uba ; Enrico Arnone ; Maria de Souza Custodio ; Renato Galante Negri ; Roberto Mussa ; Torsten Neubert ; VANESSA CARVALHO DE ANDRADE ; Yoav Yosef Yair


In this project our aim is to contribute to advance the understating on how the atmospheric layers are electrodynamically coupled among themselves and with the near-Earth space by investigating FAIRIES: EFfects SignAlIng the ElectRodynamic CouplIng between the AtmospherE and Space. Sprites, halos, elves, blue jets and gigantic jets are the most well-known types of Transient Luminous Events (TLEs), they are hybrid atmospheric-space plasmas of short duration and low luminosity signaling this coupling. Gamma-Rays, X-rays, neutrons and electron-positron pairs are the currently recorded types of High Energy Emissions from Thunderstorms (HEETs), which together with TLEs form the two classes of FAIRIES. We propose to make ground-space observations of TLEs combining the Transient Luminous Event and ThunderstOrm High Energy EmissioN CollAbortive Network - LEONA with three missions on the International Space Station (ISS), the Imaging of Lightning And Nighttime Electrical phenomena from Space (ILAN-ES) experiment that will have an astronaut looking for TLEs from the ISS for 10 days starting in April 2022, the automated ongoing Atmosphere-Space Interaction Monitor (ASIM) and Falcon Neuro missions. The primary goals are: (I) to study TLEs detected simultaneously from the ground and from space, and (II) to study the TLE events already recorded with the LEONA Network in 2018, 2019 and 2021. A secondary goal is to study the theoretical aspects of FAIRIES physical mechanisms. Our expected results are to be able to: (A) provide the first estimate of the TLE production rate in southern South America; (B) produce the first comprehensive study of the characteristics of South American TLE producing systems; (C) report TLEs observed from the ground and space in South America, and the characteristics of their parent convective systems; (E) help advance the understanding of HEETs with energies greater than 10 MeV. With that we intend to start addressing the important scientific question: What is the TLE production efficiency of thunderstorms in southern South America, considered to be the region with the most severe convective systems in the world according with satellite studies, in comparison to thunderstorm in other regions of the planet? (AU)

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