The ILAN-ES (Imaging of Lightning And Nocturnal Emissions from Space) experiment was conducted by Israeli astronaut Eytan Stibbe in April 2022 as part of the Axiom Space company AX-1 private mission to the International Space Station, in the framework of Rakia, a set of experiments selected for flight by the Ramon Foundation and the Israeli Space Agency. The mission objective was to manually record lightning and transient luminous events from the Cupola window in the ISS, based on preliminary thunderstorm forecasts uploaded to the crew 24–36 h in advance. A Nikon D6 camera with a 50 mm lens was used, in a video mode of 60 frames per second. During the 15-day mission, 82 different targets were uploaded to the ISS of which 20 were imaged by the astronauts, yielding a total harvest of 45 TLEs: sprites, Elves and Blue Corona Discharges. The methodology and execution by the ISS astronauts are described and recommendation for future observations by on-board human-operated instruments on the ISS are given.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The ILAN-ES project was supported by Reichman University Internal Research Fund and by the Canadian Friends of Tel-Aviv University. We thank Denmark Technical University for allowing calculations of ISS locations through their ASDC server. We thank Nir Stav, Evgeny Brainin and Vladimir Meerson from the Israeli Meteorological Service for technical support in obtaining Aviation Weather maps. We wish to thank Eliran Hemo (Ramon Foundation), Brandon Williams (Axiom Space), Jim Watson, Ryan Miller and the TCO team (NASA-MSFC) for their help in mission planning and operation. The student team from the School of Sustainability at Reichman University included Noah Gordis, Adam Bernitz, Linoy Levi, Bar Amrami, Bosco Nshimiyumukiza, Yuval Sheleg, Ryan Khalill, Daniel Telkar and Rebecca Mingeleva; Administrative support by Tali Livne.
The ILAN-ES project was supported by Reichman University Internal Research Fund and by the Canadian Friends of Tel-Aviv University. We thank Denmark Technical University for allowing calculations of ISS locations through their ASDC server.
© 2023 IAA
- Earth observations
- International space station
- Transient luminous events