5.1 The Next Evolution of Central Processor in the U.S. National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN)

Wednesday, 9 January 2019: 10:30 AM
North 225AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Martin J. Murphy, Vaisala, Inc., Louisville, CO; and J. A. Cramer

The U.S. National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) underwent a complete sensor upgrade in 2013 followed by a central processor upgrade in 2015. Among the results of these upgrades were a major improvement in the detection efficiency of cloud lighting flashes as well as a substantial increase in the number of cloud pulses geo-located in each flash. However, these upgrades also re-aggravated a historical problem with the tendency to misclassify a population of low-current positive discharges as cloud-to-ground strokes when, in fact, most are probably cloud pulses. We have also identified some poorly geo-located events in which the contributing sensor data was either improperly associated or simply under-utilized by the geo-location algorithm. We have developed additional improvements to the central processing system in order to address these issues. In this presentation, we show the results of these improvements in comparison to the 2015 central processor version. The new central processor is due to become operational by the start of the 2019 lightning season in North America.
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