World coverage for single station lightning detection

Authors


Abstract

[1] This paper analyzes the possibility of using single station measurements of low-frequency electromagnetic waves to locate lightning occurring around much, and possibly all, of the world. The electromagnetic waves generated by lightning, which propagate through the Earth-ionosphere waveguide, are known as sferics. We combine a direction finding algorithm to compute the arrival azimuth of the recorded sferic along with a distance of propagation estimate to deduce the location of the lightning. While the methodology used for estimating the distance of propagation is described by Mackay and Fraser-Smith (2010), this paper analyzes the effectiveness of the method. We examine the limitations including those independent of station location and performance, and those which are station dependent. We analyze the geographic coverage attained from a single station along with the percentage of lightning emitting sferics that are recorded at the station and available for computing the lightning locations.

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