BackForwardInstrument:  LIS 

Instrument details
Acronym LIS
Full name Lightning Imaging Sensor
Purpose Proxy for convective precipitation, proxy for NOx generation, study of Earth electric field
Short description CCD camera operating at 777.4 nm (O2) to count flashes and measure their intensity
Background Heritage of OTD flown on MicroLab-1
Scanning Technique Pushbroom, matrix array of 128 x 128 detectors, swath 600 km; each earth location observed continuously (every 2 ms) for about 90 s
Resolution 4 km
Coverage / Cycle On TRMM: several passes at ~ 100-min intervals with longer gaps once or twice per day. More regular coverage at 15°N and 15°S. On ISS: latitude coverage extended to 51.6°
Mass 21 kg Power 33 W Data Rate 6 kbps


Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 1998 to 2015
Last update: 2022-08-08
Detailed characteristics
Satellites this instrument is flying on

Note: a red tag indicates satellites no longer operational, a green tag indicates operational satellites, a blue tag indicates future satellites

Instrument classification
  • Earth observation instrument
  • Passive optical radiometer or spectrometer
  • Lightning imager
WIGOS Subcomponents No WIGOS subcomponents have been defined.
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Total lightning density
Evaluation of Measurements

The following list indicates which measurements can typically be retrieved from this category of instrument. To see a full Gap Analysis by Variable, click on the respective variable.

Note: table can be sorted by clicking on the column headers
Note: * Primary mission objective.
VariableRelevance for measuring this variableOperational limitationsExplanation
Total lightning density*3 - highDiscontinuous availability.NIR channel. Area monitored for about 90 s, moving with the LEO satellite