Initiation of a lightning search using the lightning and airglow camera onboard the Venus orbiter Akatsuki

Yukihiro Takahashi, Mitsuteru Sato, Masataka Imai, Ralph Lorenz, Yoav Yair, Karen Aplin, Georg Fischer, Masato Nakamura, Nobuaki Ishii, Takumi Abe, Takehiko Satoh, Takeshi Imamura, Chikako Hirose, Makoto Suzuki, George L. Hashimoto, Naru Hirata, Atsushi Yamazaki, Takao M. Sato, Manabu Yamada, Shin ya MurakamiYukio Yamamoto, Tetsuya Fukuhara, Kazunori Ogohara, Hiroki Ando, Ko ichiro Sugiyama, Hiroki Kashimura, Shoko Ohtsuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The existence of lightning discharges in the Venus atmosphere has been controversial for more than 30 years, with many positive and negative reports published. The lightning and airglow camera (LAC) onboard the Venus orbiter, Akatsuki, was designed to observe the light curve of possible flashes at a sufficiently high sampling rate to discriminate lightning from other sources and can thereby perform a more definitive search for optical emissions. Akatsuki arrived at Venus during December 2016, 5 years following its launch. The initial operations of LAC through November 2016 have included a progressive increase in the high voltage applied to the avalanche photodiode detector. LAC began lightning survey observations in December 2016. It was confirmed that the operational high voltage was achieved and that the triggering system functions correctly. LAC lightning search observations are planned to continue for several years.

Original languageEnglish
Article number88
JournalEarth, Planets and Space
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, The Author(s).


  • Akatsuki
  • Flash
  • Lightning
  • Lightning and airglow camera
  • Venus


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