Key Laboratory for Middle Atmosphere and Global Environment Observation
(3) The physics of lightning and thunderstorms and their impacts on the middle atmosphere.
· Establishment of the Beijing Lightning Network (or BLNET), operated in multiple bands, which has realized the three-dimensional real-time location of lightning radiation pulses; the development of a lightning microwave radiation detection system and lightning optical transient ultra-speed detection system; and achieving comprehensive and synchronous observations of rocket-triggered lightning at close range by means of wide bands and multiple parameters.
· Finely resolved optical images of the intermittent propagation of the positive leader step, revealing the step formation of the positive leader with stages of “charge accumulation”, “hop forward”, and “pause and dim”, which is distinct from the negative step formation with the evolution of the “space stem/leader” ahead of the leader tip. Also, clarification of different channel branching scenarios and mechanisms in positive and negative leaders.
· The first observation of a gigantic jet in the mid-latitude area, providing clear evidence for the hypothesis of gigantic jet generation above thunderstorms with asymmetric charge structure; new insights into the characteristics of lightning inducing rare negative red sprites, as well as the differences in the associated thunderstorms in continental and oceanic areas; and a new mechanism of red sprite excitation via a charge transfer process of lightning continuing current.
The laboratory has carried out extensive academic exchanges and scientific research cooperation efforts with the United States, France, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, Belgium, Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Norway.
Director: BIAN Jianchun