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A Wideband Airborne/Ground Lightning Flash Location System
NAVAL AIR DEVELOPMENT CENTER WARMINSTER PA
A standard video display output shows the location of thunderstorms by displaying the rate of lightning stroke activity. As new lightning strokes are received, the display intensifies on the CRT to show the center of the electrical activity. This provides a display of severe electrical storms similiar to the standard radar reflectivity displays. The lightning stroke data is integrated for four minutes. As the number of lightning strokes diminishes, the display decreases in brightness. A standard serial interface provides remote control and monitor capability. For the ground and airborne test programs, the serial channel is used to record all lightning data on a magnetic tape for later retrieval and display. Accurate direction findings is determined by utilizing only the peak pulses of the wideband return stroke waveform. The range estimation from a single station to each lignthing stroke uses the differences between the decay of electric and magnetic fields. A single antenna unit consisting of two orthogonal wideband magnetic cross-loops and a short vertical monopole antenna. The system has adequate bandwidth 3 MHz to detect return stroke pulses for accurate direction finding and ranging. The system has a maximum range of 120 nm radius. Tests on a number of lightning storms at distances to 75 nm indicate the angular resolution is better than or - 10 deg and may be in the range of less than 3 deg with little or no systemmatic dependence on the number of active thunderstorm cells which are at different angles.
This article is from 'International Aerospace and Ground Conference on Lightning and Static Electricity (8th): 'Lightning Technology Roundup,' held at Fort Worth, Texas on 21-23 June 1983,' ADA135100, p49-1 thru 49-6.
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.