The Modular Multispectral Imaging Array (MMIA) is a suite of optical sensors mounted on an external platform of the European Space Agency’s Columbus Module on the International Space Station. The MMIA, together with the Modular X- and Gamma- ray Sensor (MXGS), are the two main instruments forming the Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM). The primary scientific objectives of the ASIM mission are to study thunderstorm electrical activity such as lightning, Transient Luminous Emissions (TLEs) and Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes (TGFs) by observing the associated emissions in the UV, near-infrared, x- and gamma-ray spectral bands. The MMIA includes two cameras imaging in 337 nm and 777.4 nm, at up to 12 frames per second, and three high-speed photometers at 180–230 nm, 337 nm and 777.4 nm, sampling at rates up to 100 kHz. The paper describes the MMIA and the aspects that make it an essential tool for the study of thunderstorms. The mission architecture is described in Neubert et al. (Space Sci. Rev. 215:26, 2019, this issue) and the MXGS instruments in Østgaard et al. (Space Sci. Rev. 215:23, 2019, this issue).
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- Transient luminous events
- Space observing system