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For Release: April 10, 1996
NOTE TO EDITORS: 96-23N
BRIEFINGS ON DISCOVERIES/TANTALIZING POSSIBILITIES MARK NASAS LIGHTNING DETECTORS FIRST YEAR OF OPERATION
Research activities and scientific discoveries will be topics of a local media briefing Friday marking the first anniversary of NASAs lightning detection instrument, the Optical Transient Detector.
The lightning detector, managed by the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., was launched April 3, 1995 on a Pegasus launch vehicle provided by Orbital Sciences Corporation in Dulles, Va. and is one of two payloads aboard an Orbital Sciences satellite called Microlab-1. The second Microlab-1 payload involves the use of Global Positioning System signals to predict weather patterns.
The one-hour briefing will begin at 11 a.m. at the Global Hydrology and Climate Center at 977 Explorer Blvd. in Huntsville, Ala.
Following the briefing, media will have an opportunity to talk to scientists about important discoveries in lightning research, including the role of lightning in the formation of tornadoes and global mapping of lightning.
NASA lightning researcher Dr. Hugh Christian will be available to discuss these results and the continuing mission of the Optical Transient Detector project.
Also, media may interview Mircolab-1 satellite project manager Bob Lindberg of Orbital Sciences about small satellite technologies and Dr. Michael Exner of the University of Colorado Atmospheric Research Center in Boulder, Colo. about the use of the Global Positioning System in weather prediction.
The Global Hydrology and Climate Center is jointly operated through a cooperative agreement between Marshall Center, the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the Universities Space Research Association.
For additional information call Steve Roy at the Marshall Center Public Affairs Office at 544-6535 or 544-0034.