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Lightning Detector (SSL)

NSSDCA ID: 1974-015A-04

Mission Name: DMSP 5B/F5
Principal Investigator:


The lightning detector (Supplementary Sensor L - SSL) was designed to count lightning flashes at night to aid in severe weather detection. The sensor consisted of 12 silicon photodiodes that detected radiation emitted by the lightning flashes in the 0.4 to 1.1 micrometer range. The peak response was near 0.8 micrometer. Each photodiode had a nominal field of view of 740 by 740 km on the earth's surface from an altitude of 830 km. The photodiodes were aligned in a 3 by 4 array so that the sensor's field of view was approximately 2200 by 3000 km. The SSL stored the total number of counts and the value of the largest pulse observed by each photodiode during a 1 sec sampling interval. This sensor was flown only on DMSP 8531 and was never used to obtain data.

Alternate Names

  • SSL

Funding Agency

  • Department of Defense-Department of the Air Force (United States)


    Additional Information

    Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



    NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
    Principal InvestigatorGlobal Weather Center
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