About nowcast

nowcast has developed a technology which enables ultra-precise detection of lightning strokes. The system evolved from years of research by Prof. Dr. Hans-Dieter Betz, who lectured at the renown Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as well as the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU). nowcast was founded in 2002 to market this technology. Since then the lightning detection system has been successfully marketed globally under the LINET(Lightning Detection Network) brand.

Prof. Dr. Hans-Dieter Betz

The nowcast capability

nowcast is mainly focused on research and development in lightning detection as well as operating and selling the LINET lightning detection system, meteorological applications and storm data resulting thereof.

  • Global proprietary lightning detection network

    nowcast is currently the only provider of lightning data in Europe, who developes, operates and manufactures an independent, area wide and homogeneous premium network. But also in South America, Africa and Asia nowcast offers its lightning detection system LINET for sale via different partners.

  • Quality leader among commercial lightning detection networks

    nowcast sets great store by best possible capturing of lightning, putting particular emphasis on data. nowcast is the quality leader among commercial lightning detection networks. Above all location accuracy, capture probability and information detail are unique among available wide area lightning detection systems.

  • Patented 3D lightning detection technology

    The technical design of the LINET measurement antenna was developed by Prof. Hans-Dieter Betz, who invested 15 years of research to work out every detail. Through extensive testing and numerous comparisons of different procedures, he pushed physical laws to their limits in order to achieve optimum detection of the electromagnetic radiation emitted by lightning strokes.

    nowcast has developed a procedure (patented) which enables detecting intra-cloud lightning even in low frequency range. LINET determines the exact emission height of intra-cloud strokes with detectors spaced at intervals of up to 250 km.

  • Made & engineered in Germany

    nowcast has evolved from the long-standing research work carried out by Professor Hans-Dieter Betz at Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich. Continuing research work and exchange with research institutions all over the world continues to play an important role. For nowcast, the technical analysis of lightning information, scientific conclusions and consequent improvements in real life, form an integral part of the nowcast business model.

  • High location accuracy

    nowcast has succeeded in perfecting the localization of lightning strokes in the LINET lightning detection network with a statistical accuracy of better than 75 meters (mean value, low scattering). Precisely identifying the geolocation of a lightning stroke is afflicted with uncertainty for physical reasons. Every lightning stroke has a certain dimension and for cloud-to-ground strokes the exact point of discharge is measured which is located about 100 m above ground. By smart adaption of several parameters, nowcast has managed to perfect location accuracy with a statistical accuracy of better than 75 meters (mean value, low scattering). This value is constantly monitored and confirmed by comparing recorded cloud-to-ground strokes to towers of known geolocation.

  • Reliable detection probability

    With an intelligent antenna design, highly efficient measuring technology and filtering mechanism optimized over a long period of time, LINET sensors are highly sensitive and have a low detection threshold. Consequently even the weakest lightning strokes are detected. The significantly higher number of lightning strokes detected, helps in further refining the data for even better cell tracking and nowcasting. The highly sensitive sensors play a major role in the excellent LINET location accuracy.

”A system that detects every single lightning stroke with all its qualities – this is the overall nowcast objective.”

Satisfied customers

In 2014 nowcast won the tender of the German Weather Service “Deutscher Wetterdienstes (DWD)”. The DWD uses the European lightning data in addition to their own calculations for issuing severe weather warnings, extremely short-term forecasts and expert opinions, as well as for the supply of public administration such as the German Army, aviation, airlines and the German Federal Police.

With the German Weather Service DWD and the Allianz Insurance Group, nowcast was able to convince demanding customers of the quality of its lightning information early on. Since then the list of references has been constantly growing to include renown customers from the energy sector, insurance business, meteorology, aviation and other weather related industries.