89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 13 January 2009: 9:15 AM
Real time Processing and Display of Lightning Mapping Array Data
Room 131A (Phoenix Convention Center)
Harald E. Edens, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM; and W. Rison, S. J. Hunyady, R. J. Thomas, P. R. Krehbiel, and W. P. Winn
During the summer of 2008 a new approach was taken to process New Mexico Tech's Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) data in real-time. Rather than each LMA station sending their raw data as individual files to a central processing server, each station broadcasts a decimated version of their raw data as a continuous stream over the network. A central processing server receives and reads these data streams from all stations directly in memory and processes the data on a second-by-second basis to generate three-dimensional locations of lightning activity. The processed lightning data are then broadcast by the processing server to be used by any client, which can plot and monitor lightning flashes in real-time with typical latency of only one or two seconds. No physical disk storage is needed at any time during the processing and any client computer on the network can access the broadcast real-time data for plotting, storage or further analysis (e.g. counting flash rates, running flash-identification and flash-type algorithms, etc). Being able to monitor lightning flashes in storms this closely in real-time is extremely useful both for research operations and for weather nowcasting.

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