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Seminar Speaker: Dr. Chris Schultz
November 2 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Christopher J. Schultz
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Title: Geostationary Lightning Mapper: Performance, Capabilities, and Applications
Abstract: The Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) is an instrument aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geostationary Operational Environment Satellite (GOES)-R series. The GLM instrument has heritage in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Science Mission Directorate that dates back to the late 1970s. The GLM provides uniform lightning detection of total lightning across the entire field of view, along with specific characteristics of lightning like flash size and optical intensity by taking advantage of a narrow band in the near infrared that allows for lightning detection during the day and at night. Currently two GLM instruments are in orbit on the GOES-16 and GOES-17 satellites, with two additional units being constructed as this time.
Total lightning capabilities like that from the GLM instrument provide unique information that aid in the characterization of various weather, geological, and space-based phenomenon. The primary role of GLM was to aid forecasters, emergency management, first responders, and the pubic in their assessment of severe and hazardous convection for safety purposes. This presentation focuses on the unique applications of GLM data to help in warning decisions, safety, and assessment of the physical and dynamical processes within thunderstorms, snow storms, and volcanic plumes. Also covered will be current efforts to validate the GLM instrument, along with examples of how GLM can be integrated with other ground based lightning measurements that have been available for nearly 35 years. A unique capability for meteorite detection will also be demonstrated to illustrate some of the unforeseen capabilities of GLM that were not accounted for in its original design.