Atmospheric Space Interactions Monitoring Instrument (ASIM)
The ASIM facility is an external, observatory-type payload for Columbus which will study giant electrical discharges (lightning) in the high-altitude atmosphere above thunderstorms and their role in the Earth’s climate. The instrument payload is composed of light detectors, sensitive in the optical range (cameras, photometers) and in the X-ray to Gamma-ray ranges (imaging spectrometer).
Current status of development
The Phase B for ASIM started on March 2007 and will terminate at the end of 2009.
For the Phase B both Limb-oriented and Nadir-oriented payloads were considered. The Limb payload focuses on the physics of the optical phenomenon and the Nadir payload is optimized for the study of the X-ray and Gamma-ray flashes. Figure 2 shows a payload design for ASIM consisting of only a Nadir-viewing payload.
Last update: 13 May 2009