Article

Surveys in Geophysics

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 1-41

Energetic Charged Particles Above Thunderclouds

  • Martin FüllekrugAffiliated withDepartment of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Bath Email author 
  • , Declan DiverAffiliated withSchool of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow
  • , Jean-Louis PinçonAffiliated withLaboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l’Environnement et de l’Espace
  • , Alan D. R. PhelpsAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, University of Strathclyde
  • , Anne BourdonAffiliated withLaboratoire d’Energétique Moléculaire et Macroscopique, Combustion, CNRS, UPR 288
  • , Christiane HellingAffiliated withSchool of Physics and Astronomy North Haugh, University of St Andrews
  • , Elisabeth BlancAffiliated withCommissariat à l’Energie Atomique, Laboratoire de Géophysique
  • , Farideh HonaryAffiliated withPhysics Department, Lancaster University
  • , R. Giles HarrisonAffiliated withDepartment of Meteorology, University of Reading
    • , Jean-André SauvaudAffiliated withDepartment of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of BathCentre d’Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements/IRAP
    • , Jean-Baptiste RenardAffiliated withLaboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l’Environnement et de l’Espace
    • , Mark LesterAffiliated withDepartment of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of BathDepartment of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester
    • , Michael RycroftAffiliated withDepartment of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of BathCAESAR Consultancy
    • , Mike KoschAffiliated withDepartment of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of BathPhysics Department, Lancaster UniversitySchool of Physics, University of KwaZulu-Natal
    • , Richard B. HorneAffiliated withDepartment of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of BathBritish Antarctic Survey
    • , Serge SoulaAffiliated withDepartment of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of BathLaboratoire d’Aérologie, Université de Toulouse, CNRS
    • , Stéphane GaffetAffiliated withDepartment of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of BathLaboratoire Souterrain à Bas Bruit (LSBB), UMS 3538 University of Nice, University of Avignon, CNRS

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Relativistic Atmospheric Electrodynamics