Exploring High-Energy Phenomena in Earth's Atmosphere

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 1:40 PM
Ashot Agassi Chilingarian, Yerevan Physics Institute, Yerevan-36, Armenia
The electron acceleration downward during thunderstorms becomes possible after creation of the Lower Positive Charged Region below the main negative charged layer in the middle of the thundercloud. Varieties of particle detectors located at Aragats Space Environmental Center (3200 m above sea level|) are routinely register neutral and charged particle fluxes correlated with thunderstorms, so-called Thunderstorm Ground Enhancements (TGEs). Simultaneously the electric mills and lightning detectors are monitoring the near-surface electric field and lightning flashes. Study of TGEs provides unique information about particle acceleration and multiplication in the atmosphere during thunderstorms. Generation and propagation of large fluxes of electrons, positrons, gamma rays, and neutrons in the atmosphere and in near space are related to the development of thunderstorms and may be used for monitoring of dangerous consequences of extreme weather.

Direct measurements of the intense particle fluxes at the Earth’s surface may be used as well for understanding of intense radiation directed to space. Measured spatial and energetic characteristic of the Extensive cloud showers (initiated by runaway electrons) and precisely measured energy a spectrum of the TGE gamma rays and electrons allows to develop comprehensive model of high-energy phenomena in the lower atmosphere.

However, only multivariate approach can provide necessary information for understanding high-energy phenomena in atmosphere and ionosphere. In addition to networks of particle detectors and field meters we plan to install lidar-based devices for remote estimation of the electric field in thundercloud; high frequency optical monitoring of lightnings and Transient luminous events (TLEs) and antennas for registering multi bandwidth radio emissions during thunderstorm.