Global observations of thunderstorms, lightning and TLEs (Transient Luminous Events) correlated with international ground campaigns
ILAN-ES aims to study electrical phenomena above thunderstorms, known as Transient Luminous Events: blue jets propagating from cloud tops to the stratosphere (~40 km), gigantic jets from clouds to the ionosphere (~ 90 km), and ELVES and red sprites initiated above tropospheric thunderstorms inside the mesosphere (50-90 km). Observations will enhance our understanding of the coupling processes between the lower and upper atmosphere. Space imaging will be augmented by a global ground-based campaign, with lightning location networks in different spectral ranges (ELF, VLF) as well as optical cameras operated by international research groups and a network of schools and amateurs. Daily operations will rely on forecasts of thunderstorm targets that will be relayed to the astronaut on-board the ISS, in a similar manner to the MEIDEX that was conducted on-board space-shuttle Columbia in 2003 by the late Col. Ilan Ramon.