Sprites in low-frequency radio noise

M. Füllekrug, A. Mezentsev, S. Soula, O. Van Der Velde, T. Farges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Low-frequency radio noise is the electromagnetic background radiation which is compared here to the luminosity of 39 sprites recorded with a low-light video camera. It is found that the sprite luminosities coincide with ∼10-30 ms long sudden enhancements of the electromagnetic background radiation ∼6-8 μV mHz(∼6-9 dB) with a relative maximum near ∼125 kHz as measured with a wideband (∼1-400 kHz) digital radio receiver. The sprites cluster in 10 groups of 2-5 consecutive sprites which are paralleled by up to ∼1 s long slowly varying enhancements of the electromagnetic background radiation ∼4-5 μV mHz (∼2-4 dB). The observed electric field strengths place an upper bound on the low-frequency radiation from the electron multiplication associated with the exponential growth and branching sprite streamers predicted by Qin et al. [2012a]. This upper bound corresponds to a maximum of ∼300-5000 sprite streamers at ∼40 km height above thunderclouds. Some part of the observed electromagnetic background radiation might result from the superposition of low-frequency radiation emanating from the quick succession of numerous horizontal lightning strokes and/or stepped leaders inside thunderclouds which would constitute a fundamentally novel quasi-static discharge process inside thunderclouds radiating slowly varying low frequency radio noise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2395-2399
Number of pages5
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume40
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2013

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sprite
background radiation
radio
thundercloud
low frequencies
electromagnetism
stepped leaders
radio receivers
luminosity
augmentation
lightning
electric field strength
radiation
strokes
multiplication
electric field
cameras
broadband
electron
electrons

Cite this

Füllekrug, M., Mezentsev, A., Soula, S., Van Der Velde, O., & Farges, T. (2013). Sprites in low-frequency radio noise. Geophysical Research Letters, 40(10), 2395-2399. https://doi.org/10.1002/grl.50408

Sprites in low-frequency radio noise. / Füllekrug, M.; Mezentsev, A.; Soula, S.; Van Der Velde, O.; Farges, T.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 40, No. 10, 28.05.2013, p. 2395-2399.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Füllekrug, M, Mezentsev, A, Soula, S, Van Der Velde, O & Farges, T 2013, 'Sprites in low-frequency radio noise', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 40, no. 10, pp. 2395-2399. https://doi.org/10.1002/grl.50408
Füllekrug M, Mezentsev A, Soula S, Van Der Velde O, Farges T. Sprites in low-frequency radio noise. Geophysical Research Letters. 2013 May 28;40(10):2395-2399. https://doi.org/10.1002/grl.50408
Füllekrug, M. ; Mezentsev, A. ; Soula, S. ; Van Der Velde, O. ; Farges, T. / Sprites in low-frequency radio noise. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2013 ; Vol. 40, No. 10. pp. 2395-2399.
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