An evaluation of the performance characteristics of the U.S. national lightning detection network in Florida using rocket-triggered lightning

J. Jerauld, V. A. Rakov, M. A. Uman, K. J. Rambo, D. M. Jordan, Ken L. Cummins, J. A. Cramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations

Abstract

The performance characteristics of the U.S. National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) were evaluated using rocket-triggered lightning data, acquired in the summers of 2001-2003 at the International Center for Lightning Research and Testing (ICLRT), at Camp Blanding, Florida. During the 3-year period, 37 flashes, containing a total of 159 (158 negative and 1 positive) strokes, were triggered at Camp Blanding. Flashes consisting of the initial stage only (having no return strokes) were not considered in this study. Directly measured currents were obtained for 122 of these strokes in 29 flashes. Camp Blanding and NLDN events were correlated using GPS time stamps. The NLDN recorded 95 Camp Blanding strokes in 31 flashes. Of these 95, usable directly measured currents were obtained for 70 strokes in 22 flashes. Flash and stroke detection efficiencies were estimated to be about 84% and 66%, respectively. Median location error was about 600 m, with larger location errors (greater than 2 km) being associated with strokes having smaller peak currents (5-10 kA.). The NLDN tended to underestimate peak current, with the median peak current estimation error (signed) being about 18%. There was a steady trend of improved stroke detection efficiency from 2001 to 2003.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberD19106
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres
Volume110
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 10 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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