Thor:  What Happens Above Thunderstorms? (THOR) - 02.22.17

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The What Happens Above Thunderstorms (THOR) investigation seeks to improve the understanding how lightning activity powers cloud turrets, gravity waves, and to further the understanding of the structure of Transient Luminous Events above thunderstorms. If confirmed as being technically feasible, the photography technique used could also add valuable scientific data to the European Space Agency’s (ESA) future Atmospheric Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM) project mission. Improving the understanding of the processes occurring in Earth’s lower layers of the atmosphere can improve atmospheric models, and a better understanding of Earth’s climate and weather.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Torsten Neubert, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Erasmus Experiment Archive.
Experiment Details

OpNom:

Principal Investigator(s)
Torsten Neubert, Ph.D., National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark (DTU Space), Kongens Lyngby, Denmark

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
N. Larsen, Denmark
O. Chanrion, Denmark
Elisabeth Blanc, Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique, Bruyeres le Chatel, France
Y. Yair, Israel

Developer(s)
European Space Agency (ESA), Noordwijk, Netherlands
Technical University of Denmark, Kongens Lyngby, Denmark

Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)

Sponsoring Organization
European Space Agency

Research Benefits
Information Pending

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2015 - September 2015

Expeditions Assigned
43/44

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • Water vapour is an important greenhouse gas. Convective processes of the troposphere (the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere), affect the transport of water vapour, and its circulation in both the stratosphere and mesosphere. Improved understanding of the processes that occur in these layers of the atmosphere can improve atmospheric models, and provide a better understanding of Earth’s climate and weather.
  • The THOR experiment concerns thunderstorm convection related to water vapour transport. More specifically, the transport of water from the troposphere to the stratosphere, and circulation of the stratosphere and mesosphere driven by internal gravity waves. The project studies the relationship between these processes and electrical activity of thunderstorms by using optical cameras on the International Space Station (ISS), ground observations of lightning, and meteorological satellite observations of cloud properties. The experiment also studies one of the main topics of investigation for ESA’s future ASIM project to the ISS, and generation of electric discharges in the stratosphere and mesosphere over thunderstorms.

Description
Information Pending

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Applications

Space Applications
The Space Application for this investigation has yet to be identified.

Earth Applications
Data from this experiment could improve the understanding how lightning activity powers cloud turrets, gravity waves, and improves the understanding of the structure of Transient Luminous Events above thunderstorms. Improving the understanding of the processes that occur in the lower layers Earth’s atmosphere can improve atmospheric models, and provide a better understanding of Earth’s climate and weather.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols
Information Pending

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
Erasmus Experiment Archive: THOR

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Imagery