CubeSat Development for Lightning Flashes Detection: RaioSat Project

Antonio Cassiano Julio Filho, Auro Tikami, Elaine de Souza Ferreira de Paula, Jhonathan Murcia Piñeros, George Favale Fernandes, Lázaro Aparecido Pires Camargo, Carlos Alberto Monteiro Barbosa dos Santos, Walter Abrahão dos Santos, Kleber Pinheiro Naccarato


Annually, severe weather phenomena are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths and tens of billions of dollars of damage around the world. In Brazil, unlike other hydrometeorological events, severe atmospheric events are random and, therefore, do not have a sociospatial pattern. Because of that, there is a significant motivation to improve the prediction techniques for this kind of events, using high resolution numerical models. A large amount of high-quality observational data is required, including lightning data in a very short-range. In addition, the detection of lightning flashes produced by storms is important for a wide variety of applications and in some areas of scientific research, which include the understanding of the human action on the climate and how the climate change can affect the behavior of storms in long range. One method to monitor the lightning flashes is the implementation of sensors in satellites to obtain data. In this sense, the objective of the RaioSat project is to develop national technology for detecting lightning flashes from the space, in order to complement the existing data from the ground detection network, BrasilDAT. The main objective of this article is to present a methodology for the development of the RaioSat mission including some parts of the preliminary design and operational modes. Additionally, the article describes the expected results and the continuity of the project and a preliminary analysis of a constellation for future projects.


Nanosatellites; Lightning; Atmospheric; Phenomena; Digital cameras; Systems design

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