Co-ordinated observations of transient luminous events during the EuroSprite2003 campaign

Torsten Neubert, Thomas Højgaard Allin, Elisabeth Blanc, Thomas Farges, Christo Haldoupis, Agnes Mika, Serge Soula, Lars Knutsson, Oscar van der Velde, Robert A. Marshall, Umran Inan, Gabriella Sátori, Jozsef Bór, Arthur Hughes, Andrew Collier, Steen Laursen, Ib Lundgaard Rasmussen

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleResearchpeer-review


During the Northern Hemisphere summer of 2003 a sprite observation campaign was conducted from Southern Europe and the magnetically conjugate region in South Africa. The campaign brought together a wide variety of instrumentation to investigate the effects of sprites on the mesosphere, and to search for signatures of the relativistic electron acceleration process in the magnetically conjugate hemisphere. Measurements in Europe included optical video imaging from a remote-controlled, semi-automatic camera system located at the Observatoire du Pic du Midi in the Pyrenees mountains in Southern France, infrasound observations from France, and ULF-HF electromagnetic observations from a number of locations. The measurements in South Africa included observations of optical emissions and VLF electromagnetic waves. The campaign was successful, with more than 100 sprites observed during 10 storms. The paper will give an overview of the campaign and some results. They include: (1) the first clear identification of infrasound from sprites, allowing independent (of optical observations) estimates of the energy input to the mesosphere, (2) the first detection of sprites triggered by intra-cloud lightning, a result that underscores the need for considering the complete thunderstorm source field resulting from both cloud-to-ground discharges and the intra-cloud discharges feeding them, and (3) a clear one-to-one relationship with sprites and early VLF events, suggesting that VLF ground transmitter signals can be an important tool for estimating ionisation and relaxation of ionised structures in sprites. No signatures of relativistic electrons were identified during the campaign.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
Issue number8-9
Pages (from-to)807-820
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventGeneral Meeting of the European-Geosciences-Union - Nice, France
Duration: 25 Apr 200430 Apr 2004
Conference number: 1


ConferenceGeneral Meeting of the European-Geosciences-Union

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Co-ordinated observations of transient luminous events during the EuroSprite2003 campaign'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this