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Experiment Groza (Thunderstorm)

Complex investigation of the atmospheric, ionospheric and radiation phenomena above the African continent connected with thunderstorm activity and seismic processes.

Purpose of experiment

Complex study of the atmospheric phenomena above the African continent on-board the ISS RS.


  • Registration of optical radiations connected with thunderstorm and seismic activity in region of Southern Africa (equatorial and middle latitudes);
  • Statistical data collection about distribution of thunderstorm activity on middle latitudes;
  • Registration of the bright located short-term flashes of a luminescence of atmosphere;
  • Improvement of thunderstorm activity monitoring methods, optical emissions of atmosphere and ionosphere of the Earth;
  • Realization of magnetic and radiation measurements;
  • Measurement of charged partyсles spectra;
  • Study of the thunderstorm phenomena connection with streams of partyсles.

Equipment to be used

Hardware "Scorpios", "Molniya - VFS" (or/and "LSO"), radiometer Р-16, still camera, video camera, onboard computer, dictophone, spent materials.

Composition of the equipment.

Equipment "Scorpios":

  • Electronics control unit;
  • Power supply unit;
  • Neutron block;
  • Magnetometric module;
  • Wave module.

Assignment of the equipment

  • Registration of electromagnetic radiation spectrum in frequency band of 0,1 Hz - 1,0 kHz;
  • Registration streams of neutrons with energies from 0,01 eV up to 1,0 MeV with efficiency about 85 %;
  • Registration streams of protons with energy > 50 MeV, and electrons > 3 MeV;
  • Registration streams of quanta with energy > 2 MeV, > 50 keV, > 300 keV;

Equipment "Molniya-VFS":

  • Monoblock (optical module; electronics module);
  • Bracket К-03

Assignment of the equipment

  • Registration of optical radiations in optical ranges: 650-750, 390-430, 390-900 nm;
  • Registration of the bright located short-term flashes of a luminescence of atmosphere at altitudes from 40 up to 90 km (red sprites) and at altitudes from 20 up to 40 km (blue jets).

Principles of the equipment operation.

Weak (on intensity) digital images of short-term atmospheric luminescence amplify by the optical-electronic circuit and are recorded on the magnetooptical disk.

Main characteristics of the equipment:

Equipment " Molniya-VFS"

  • Optical module - 2 lenses with fields of sight till 21°, weight 4,3 kg, dimensions of 180х180х410 mm, power consumption 15 W;
  • Electronics module - weight 4,2 kg, dimensions of 155х165х390 mm, power consumption 30 W;
  • The bracket -03 - rotates in a plane of the basis on ±180, and in a plane of the perpendicular to basis - on ±35; weight 2,5 kg and dimensions of 290х350х345 mm.

Work of crew with the equipment.

The "Scorpios" equipment is installed on place of experiment realization and is connected to the onboard socket. Information recording is performed automatically to the recorder. After returning to the Earth the decoding of information and mapping of events is implemented.

The “Molniya-VFS” equipment is installed with the help of special rotary bracket К-03 on an illuminator no. 1 (or no. 2) of Service module.

During processing of data obtained the simultaneous registration of events and phenomena (time recording) is necessary.
Landing Countdown to 05:51 05 May

Landing Complete!

The Team
Mark Shuttleworth
Dale Cupido
Karen Sharwood
Lara Keytel
Danie Barry
Freddy Khan
Vaughan Oosthuizen
Ravi Naidoo
Vuyo Dwane
Richard Mills
Nicolette Cronje
Wayne Derman
Peter Ribton
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