Pioneering research from the ISS
After the successful ASIM launch on Monday April 2nd, new challenges were faced April 4th as the SpaceX Dragon cargo (with ASIM on board) was safely attached to the International Space Station (ISS).
Friday April 13, it is time to mount ASIM on the Columbus module of ISS and turn on the instruments.
Data from ASIM will be used by scientists all over the world, to study Gamma-ray flashes from thunderstorms, as well as lightning, red sprites, blue jets, and elves.
Gamma-ray flashes in thunderstorms weren't discovered until 1994, and are still largely unknown – which is why there is great excitement linked to the results of the research. ASIM is the first instrument built specifically for measuring such events.
The Birkeland Centre for Space Science (BCSS) at the University of Bergen, Norway has designed and built an important part of ASIM; the X-ray/Gamma-ray detector and its readout electronics. BCSS will be central in the data analysis from ASIM as well.
The Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM) is a project led by the European Space Agency. The main contractor for ESA is Terma, and the development of ASIM has been a collaboration between multiple European companies and universities.