Lightning Bolt


The Lightning Bolt project is a sounding rocket payload designed to study the coupling between lightning strokes during thunderstorms in the earth's atmosphere and the particle populations in the ionosphere and magnetosphere. Lightning Bolt will be carried by a Black Brant IX rocket, reaching an altitude of 300 km within 25 km horizontal distance of an active thunderstorm, and will achieve the highest time resolution measurements to date of electric and magnetic fields (up to 5 MHz) and electron distribution functions (up to 1 keV with 1 ms time resolution) associated with lightning strikes in the earth's atmosphere. The electron detector is being built at the University of Washington by Drs. McCarthy, Parks, and Holzworth. The fields instruments and burst memory will be built at the University of Minnesota by John Wygant, Steve Monson, and Keith Goetz.

The PI is John Wygant. The lead design engineer and project manager is Steve Monson.

The specific science goals include:



Lightning Bolt Personnel

For further information:



University of Minnesota Lightning Bolt Publications


Conference Presentations on Lightning Bolt Research



Other Lightning Bolt Websites


[CRRES] [FAST] [Geotail] [Polar] [Ulysses] [Wind]

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Last Updated : 10 July 1998