Optical emissions associated with terrestrial gamma-ray flashes

Wei Xu, Sebastien Celestin, Victor P. Pasko

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Abstract

    In this paper, we present modeling studies on optical emissions resulting from the excitation of air molecules produced by the large population of electrons involved in TGF events based on two production mechanisms: Relativistic runaway electron avalanches (RREA) and production of thermal runaway electrons by high-potential +IC lightning leaders. Numerical models used in this study are first validated through comparison with available laboratory observations. Using Monte Carlo simulations, we show that electron energy distributions established from the two TGF production mechanisms are inherently different over the full energy range, mainly because of the difference in the driving electric fields. Furthermore, we show that TGFs are most likely accompanied with detectable levels of optical emissions. We also demonstrate that, due to the fundamental difference in the acceleration and avalanche multiplication processes undergone by runaway electrons, optical emissions generated by the two viable TGF production mechanisms are intrinsically different. These distinct optical features are of significant interests for constraining and validating current TGF production models.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publication2014 31th URSI General Assembly and Scientific Symposium, URSI GASS 2014
    PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
    ISBN (Electronic)9781467352253
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Oct 17 2014
    Event31st General Assembly and Scientific Symposium of the International Union of Radio Science, URSI GASS 2014 - Beijing, China
    Duration: Aug 16 2014Aug 23 2014

    Publication series

    Name2014 31th URSI General Assembly and Scientific Symposium, URSI GASS 2014

    Other

    Other31st General Assembly and Scientific Symposium of the International Union of Radio Science, URSI GASS 2014
    CountryChina
    CityBeijing
    Period8/16/148/23/14

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
    • Computer Networks and Communications

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Optical emissions associated with terrestrial gamma-ray flashes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this