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Comparison of the United States Precision Lightning Network™ (USPLN™) and the Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Surveillance System (CGLSS)

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Tuesday, 25 January 2011
Comparison of the United States Precision Lightning Network™ (USPLN™) and the Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Surveillance System (CGLSS)
Washington State Convention Center
Alexander A. Jacques, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; and J. P. Koermer and T. R. Boucher
Manuscript (833.6 kB)

Poster PDF (1.1 MB)

WSI, co-owner of the United States Precision Lightning Network™ (USPLN™), has requested a verification study of network performance. Previous studies of USPLN performance have included network simulations and fixed tower analyses. This study compares stroke data from the USPLN with that of the Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Surveillance System (CGLSS). The CGLSS-II (renamed from CGLSS in 2008 after processor upgrades) network is comprised of six local sensors surrounding Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS). CGLSS-II is an integral part of the Four Dimensional Lightning Surveillance System (4DLSS) utilized by the 45th Weather Squadron for lightning detection during launch and everyday operations at KSC/CCAFS. Performance statistics for CGLSS-II include a 98% stroke detection efficiency and 95% confidence location accuracy below 600 m. These strong performance metrics validate CGLSS-II as a primary verification tool for USPLN comparison. This project presents an evaluation of average USPLN performance for the period beginning 20 May 2008 and ending on 31 August 2010. The region of evaluation is located within the bounds of the CGLSS-II network, where CGLSS-II performance metrics are highest. USPLN strokes were correlated to CGLSS-II strokes using time and distance thresholds. Evaluations of average stroke detection efficiency and location accuracy were conducted using the correlated stroke data. Individual case studies were also examined for further analysis using additional sources of data, including the use of the overall 4DLSS database and WSR-88D radar imagery.