Surveys in Geophysics

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 1–41

Energetic Charged Particles Above Thunderclouds


    • Department of Electronic and Electrical EngineeringUniversity of Bath
  • Declan Diver
    • School of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of Glasgow
  • Jean-Louis Pinçon
    • Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l’Environnement et de l’Espace
  • Alan D. R. Phelps
    • Department of PhysicsUniversity of Strathclyde
  • Anne Bourdon
    • Laboratoire d’Energétique Moléculaire et Macroscopique, CombustionCNRS, UPR 288
  • Christiane Helling
    • School of Physics and Astronomy North HaughUniversity of St Andrews
  • Elisabeth Blanc
    • Commissariat à l’Energie AtomiqueLaboratoire de Géophysique
  • Farideh Honary
    • Physics DepartmentLancaster University
  • R. Giles Harrison
    • Department of MeteorologyUniversity of Reading
  • Jean-André Sauvaud
    • Centre d’Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements/IRAP
  • Jean-Baptiste Renard
    • Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l’Environnement et de l’Espace
  • Mark Lester
    • Department of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of Leicester
  • Michael Rycroft
    • CAESAR Consultancy
  • Mike Kosch
    • Physics DepartmentLancaster University
    • School of PhysicsUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Richard B. Horne
    • British Antarctic Survey
  • Serge Soula
    • Laboratoire d’AérologieUniversité de Toulouse, CNRS
  • Stéphane Gaffet
    • Laboratoire Souterrain à Bas Bruit (LSBB)UMS 3538 University of Nice, University of Avignon, CNRS

DOI: 10.1007/s10712-012-9205-z

Cite this article as:
Füllekrug, M., Diver, D., Pinçon, J. et al. Surv Geophys (2013) 34: 1. doi:10.1007/s10712-012-9205-z


The French government has committed to launch the satellite TARANIS to study transient coupling processes between the Earth’s atmosphere and near-Earth space. The prime objective of TARANIS is to detect energetic charged particles and hard radiation emanating from thunderclouds. The British Nobel prize winner C.T.R. Wilson predicted lightning discharges from the top of thunderclouds into space almost a century ago. However, new experiments have only recently confirmed energetic discharge processes which transfer energy from the top of thunderclouds into the upper atmosphere and near-Earth space; they are now denoted as transient luminous events, terrestrial gamma-ray flashes and relativistic electron beams. This meeting report builds on the current state of scientific knowledge on the physics of plasmas in the laboratory and naturally occurring plasmas in the Earth’s atmosphere to propose areas of future research. The report specifically reflects presentations delivered by the members of a novel Franco-British collaboration during a meeting at the French Embassy in London held in November 2011. The scientific subjects of the report tackle ionization processes leading to electrical discharge processes, observations of transient luminous events, electromagnetic emissions, energetic charged particles and their impact on the Earth’s atmosphere. The importance of future research in this area for science and society, and towards spacecraft protection, is emphasized.



Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012