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Article

Preliminary Observations from the China Fengyun-4A Lightning Mapping Imager and Its Optical Radiation Characteristics

1
National Satellite Meteorological Center, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100081, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
3
School of Electrical Engineering and Automation, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(16), 2622; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12162622
Received: 7 July 2020 / Revised: 5 August 2020 / Accepted: 11 August 2020 / Published: 14 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earth Observations in Asia-Oceania)
The Fengyun-4A (FY-4A) Lightning Mapping Imager (LMI) is the first satellite-borne lightning imager developed in China, which can detect lightning over China and its neighboring regions based on a geostationary satellite platform. In this study, the spatial distribution and temporal variation characteristics of lightning activity over China and its neighboring regions were analyzed in detail based on 2018 LMI observations. The observation characteristics of the LMI were revealed through a comparison with the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM)-Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) and World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN) observations. Moreover, the optical radiation characteristics of lightning signals detected by the LMI were examined. Factors that may affect LMI detection were discussed by analyzing the differences in optical radiation characteristics between LMI and LIS flashes. The results are as follows. Spatially, the flash density distribution pattern detected by the LMI was similar to those detected by the LIS and WWLLN. High-flash density regions were mainly concentrated over Southeastern China and Northeastern India. Temporally, LMI flashes exhibited notable seasonal and diurnal variation characteristics. The LMI detected a concentrated lightning outbreak over Northeastern India in the premonsoon season and over Southeastern China in the monsoon season, which was consistent with LIS and WWLLN observations. LMI-observed diurnal peak flash rates occurred in the afternoon over most of the regions. There was a “stepwise” decrease in the LMI-observed optical radiance, footprint size, duration, and number of groups per flash, from the ocean to the coastal regions to the inland regions. LMI flashes exhibited higher optical radiance but lasted for shorter durations than LIS flashes. LMI observations are not only related to instrument performance but are also closely linked to onboard and ground data processing. In future, targeted improvements can be made to the data processing algorithm for the LMI to further enhance its detection capability. View Full-Text
Keywords: lightning mapping imager (LMI); Fengyun-4 (FY-4); lightning detection; geostationary meteorological satellite; China lightning mapping imager (LMI); Fengyun-4 (FY-4); lightning detection; geostationary meteorological satellite; China
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hui, W.; Zhang, W.; Lyu, W.; Li, P. Preliminary Observations from the China Fengyun-4A Lightning Mapping Imager and Its Optical Radiation Characteristics. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 2622. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12162622

AMA Style

Hui W, Zhang W, Lyu W, Li P. Preliminary Observations from the China Fengyun-4A Lightning Mapping Imager and Its Optical Radiation Characteristics. Remote Sensing. 2020; 12(16):2622. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12162622

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hui, Wen, Wenjuan Zhang, Weitao Lyu, and Pengfei Li. 2020. "Preliminary Observations from the China Fengyun-4A Lightning Mapping Imager and Its Optical Radiation Characteristics" Remote Sensing 12, no. 16: 2622. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12162622

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