Space Research and Observations
Lightning Mapper Sensor
The Lightning Mapper Sensor (LMS) program is intended to place a sensor, capable of continuously mapping lightning discharges during both day and night, into a geostationary orbit. From this orbit, the sensor would be capable of detecting all forms of lightning with a high spatial resolution and detection efficiency. This sensor could continuously monitor lightning activity over the United States and provide a more complete dataset than is currently possible.
With such an instrument, scientists could study the electrosphere over dimensions ranging from the Earth's radius all the way down to individual thunderstorms. The sensor would be capable of detecting all types of lightning phenomena, and would provide nearly uniform spatial coverage.
Disseminating this information in near real time, these measurements could be related on a continuous basis to other observable data, such as radar returns, cloud images, and other meteorological variables. Since this data would be distributed in real time (as it is collected), it would also be an invaluable tool to aid weather forecasters in detecting severe storms in time to give advance warning to the public.
Coverage of GOES West and East satellites
LMS Mission and Science Requirements