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Night/Day Optical Survey of Lightning (NOSL)

NSSDCA ID: 1981-111A-06

Mission Name: STS 2/OSTA 1
Principal Investigator:Dr. Bernard Vonnegut


The objective of the Night/Day Optical Survey of Lightning (NOSL) was to obtain motion picture films and correlated photocell sensor signals of lightning storms. The NOSL equipment consisted of the camera, the attached photocell sensor, and the connected tape recorder. During launch, boost, and reentry, this equipment was secured in storage lockers in the crew compartment. In orbit, the equipment was retrieved and assembled for use in the crew cabin. The motion picture camera was a 16-mm data acquisition camera, a model which has been flight tested on Apollo and Skylab missions. Despite the curtailed duration of the flight and the greatly increased demands on the crew, the crew obtained photographs of lightning at night and excellent motion picture sequences of six large thunderstorm systems during the day. This experiment was reflown twice on later Shuttle missions (STS-4 and STS-6). Data are available from the principal investigator, Dr. Bernard Vonnegut, SUNY at Albany, NY.

Alternate Names

  • NOSL


  • Earth Science: Atmospheric Dynamics

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. Otha H. Vaughan, Jr.Other InvestigatorNASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Dr. Marx BrookOther InvestigatorNew Mexico Institute of Mining and
Dr. Bernard VonnegutPrincipal InvestigatorState University of New York
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