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Electrical Activity

NSSDCA ID: 1978-086C-04

Mission Name: Venera 12 Descent Craft
Principal Investigator:Dr. L. V. Ksanfomaliti


This experiment was designed to search for natural electrical discharges (i.e., lightning) in the atmosphere of Venus. A super long wavelength (8-95 kHz) radio receiver with an external loop antenna of 25 cm diameter served as the sensing instrument. Four frequency channels, at 10, 18, 36, and 80 kHz with bandwiths of 1.6, 2.6, 4.6 and 15 kHz, respectively, were monitored. The data were processed with an onboard acoustical receiver and a spectroanalyzer. The threshold sensitivity at 10 kHz was 0.3 microvolts, at 80 kHz it was 1 microvolt. The spectroanalyzer had a dynamic range of 90 dB. The dynamic range of the acoustical receiver was 74 dB. The instrument operated during the descent below 60 km and on the surface of Venus. A possible source of error was charging of the spacecraft during descent. The experiment was described in Ksanfomaliti, L. V., 1979, Cosmic Research, Consultants Bureau, New York, v. 17, n. 5, pp. 617-630 (Kosmicheskie Issledovanija, 1979, v. 17, n. 5, pp. 747-762).

Alternate Names

  • Venera12DescentCraft/ElectricalActivity

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (U.S.S.R)


  • Planetary Science: Atmospheres

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. L. V. KsanfomalitiPrincipal InvestigatorInstitut Kosmicheskich Issledovaniya (IKI)
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