How does lightning detection work?

Lightning Detection describes the locationing of discharges (strokes or pulses) during thunderstorm events. By using sophisticated technology in form of a lightning location system (LLC), these strokes can be precisely located over large distances. A thunderstorm warning system (TWS) can be part of a complete lightning solution (software & hardware). A lightning detection system (also referred to as a lightning location system LLS) can be combined with lightning warning devices (so called electrical field mills), that monitor the measurable conditions that lead up to the onset of lightning. However, such ‘predictive’ devices can only tell about a favorable condition for lightning which does not necessarily result in lightning. Nowcast’s LINET system (LLS) can integrate field mills and use those as additional information source if needed.

Many industries like aviation, energy supply, telecommunication or insurances as well as (public and private) institutions like weather services, disaster management authorities or military make use of lightning detection data to investigate weather events, issue warnings and adapt their processes to dangerous weather events.

Detection of Lightning Strokes

Lightning is normally detected via the electromagnetic emission of strokes. For large area lightning detection, especially the very low frequency (VLF) radiation is of interest, as it travels over far distances and follows the curvature of the earth. This enables nowcast’s highly sensitive LINET lightning detection system to produce readings at several different sensors with large baselines, resulting in an excellent data outcome.

Lightning Detection with the TOA-Method

State of the art lightning detection networks use the so called time-of-arrival (TOA) methodto calculate the position and other parameters (such as the strength) of strokes.

Professional lightning detection systems aim at delivering the highest possible precision and completeness of detection. Therefore, every meter in location accuracy and every percentage in detection efficiency is important to demanding customers.



Lightning detection with the nowcast solution “LINET”

Nowcast offers its best-in-class lightning detection system LINET as well as lightning data services and applications to partners and customers around the globe. Customers value the excellent quality “Made in Germany” as well as the true partnership approach of nowcast.