NASA AWARDS SLS WITH CONTRACT FOR CUSTOM LIGHTNING MONITORING SYSTEM
The NASA Launch Services Program (LSP) awarded SLS with a contract to develop a custom, portable single-station lightning monitoring system. The system will locate nearby lightning strikes, measure the electromagnetic fields, and estimate the return stroke peak currents. Operators will utilize the data to help determine whether electromagnetic damage thresholds have been exceeded for space launch vehicles and associated payloads.
Oftentimes, it is not feasible to deploy complex, multi-station lightning detection/location networks for mission-specific lightning monitoring. In addition, recent studies have demonstrated that existing large scale lightning location systems often have performance deficiencies that can introduce unacceptable risk for space launch vehicle and payloads due to non-reported or misreported cloud-to-ground lightning events.