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FORTE Satellite to Record Lightning Strikes

Photonics Spectra
Oct 1997
The FORTE satellite is orbiting Earth after a successful launch on Aug. 29. The satellite, which is a joint project of Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, will test ways of detecting illegal nuclear weapons tests and monitoring lightning strikes on Earth. Onboard FORTE is a coarse optical imager with a 10 3 10-km ground resolution for lightning flash location (500 fps) and a fast photodetector for recording individual light curves. The all-composite satellite can pinpoint global lightning distribution to a 6-mile resolution.


Onboard FORTE is a coarse optical imager with a 10 3 10-km ground resolution for lightning flash location (500 fps) and a fast photodetector for recording individual light curves.

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