The University of Arizona Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences

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Friday | September 3, 2010

Dr. E. Philip Krider was presented with the Space Flight Awareness Team Award

NASA and Air Force 45th Weather Squadron formed the Lightning Advisory Panel (LAP) in 1988 after triggered lightning destroyed AC67 and highlighted significant deficiencies in the Lightning Launch Commit Criter (LLCC). The LAP's unique atmospheric electricity and cloud physics expertise quickly began contributing to the success of NASA's and DOD's space programs.

The LAP was chartered to research the physics of triggered lightning and recommend LLCC changes. Motivated by the love of country and the American space program, the LAP has labored tirelessly for over 22 years, frequently on their own initiative and with far from adequate compensation, to understand the causes of triggered lightning. The LLCC they've written for USAF & NASA space missions has best ensured both maximum safety and mission assurance, and simultaneously reduced an LLCC's risk of scrubbing or delaying a launch. The LAP's non-stop LLCC improvements have been recognized internationally as World Class and adopted by NASA manned and unmanned programs, DOD, FAA, commercial companies, and new Spaceports. In addition, space program scientists and engineers from Korea, Japan, European Community, India, China, Brazil and Taiwan have traveled to KSC to understand the LLCC-their physics foundation, rationale, R&D underpinnings, application on launch day, training programs, atmospheric sensor requirements, etc.

To achieve their chartered objectives the LAP designed and led two major data gathering field campaigns using aircraft specially equipped with electric field mills, cloud physics and other special sensors. They conducted several smaller research projects, two at NASA launch sites in less tropical climates.

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