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3D Geolocation of current pulses in clouds using a 6-axis EB vector sensor, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Lightning discharges within or near critical facilities can disrupt activities or result in damage. Although existing lightning locating systems can geolocate breakdown processes with accuracies of 10s of meters at heights above 1.5-2 km, they do not accurately report ground strike locations or provide estimates of current and charge transfer. In addition, conventional VLF/LF LLS networks do not currently report lightning channels descending towards or contacting ground with enough accuracy to address this problem. There is a need for a system that can improve location accuracy and detection efficiency. Under this NASA STTR program, QUASAR Federal Systems proposes to team with Professor Ken Cummins of the University of Arizona to develop a lightning detection sensor based on an SoA 6-axis EB vector sensor and unique location and characterization algorithm. In Phase I, we will perform a feasibility study of using a 6-axis EB sensor to address NASA "total lightning detection" needs in location accuracy and detection efficiency. This will include both analysis and limited field measurements. We will also identify a system architecture and key components for the Phase II prototype. In Phase II of the project, we will develop a scientific prototype to demonstrate the technology with field data. More »

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Technology Maturity (TRL)

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