Thursday, July 05, 2007

EuroSprite 2007 has started!

We are in for an exciting fresh EuroSprite 2007 campaign of a few months that has just begun! This year everything is set up bigger and better, so let's hope the weather acts so too!

This year we operate in the French/Spanish research area:

  1. A high resolution camera at Pic du Midi (Danish Space Center)
  2. A camera on a mountain on Corsica, if installation proves successful! (Danish Space Center)
  3. A camera going on decision to Mont-Aigoual (LA/UPS Toulouse team)
  4. A camera fixed at Lannemezan (LA/UPS Toulouse team)
  5. A camera fixed at La Molina, eastern Pyrenees in Spain (UPC Barcelona)
  6. A camera+MF radio receiver operated by Oscar, Toulouse/Mont-Aigoual (26 sprites observed already during spring)
With all these cameras around, triangulation of sprites is likely to succeed. Last year we only managed to get two such cases. Hopefully this year, many! In addition, there are a few other research cameras that observe elsewhere in Europe, who are welcome to report here as well:

  1. A camera at Sniezka, a mountain in southwest Poland (SPARTAN Sprite-Watch team of Leicester in cooperation with the Polish Meteorological Office, IMGW)
  2. A camera in Hungary (Joszef Bor)
The visual observations are going to be supplemented again by a suite of other instruments, such as ELF/ULF/VLF radio receivers. Stanford University installed many last year and has excellent coverage of Europe, and also Tel-Aviv university in Israel will monitor their receivers. There is a photometer array being installed this weekend at Pic du Midi. The trusty Météorage and SLDN cloud-to-ground lightning detection networks will be used in France and Spain, as well as the weather radar networks, and two SAFIR intracloud lightning detection systems, one near Bordeaux and the other one in northeastern Spain. Electric field mills operated by the Toulouse and Barcelona teams may record interesting data if sprite-producing storms occur near the Pyrenees. CEA in France operates HF radio receivers and infrasound arrays.

So, is there any action anytime soon? A look at the weather maps reveals an interesting situation for the Bay of Biscay area during Saturday-Sunday night, and for central France Sunday-Monday night. The nights after seem quiet here in the southwest, but then it gets better for the teams operating in central Europe.....

Best wishes of luck to all teams. You, as visitor, are encouraged to send us any comments or questions. We hope to report the first sprites to you soon!