S55 Verification of the United States Precision Lightning Network™ (USPLN™) with the Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Surveillance System (CGLSS)

Sunday, 23 January 2011
Alexander A. Jacques, Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

Handout (1.1 MB)

The United States Precision Lightning Network™ (USPLN™) is a large-scale lightning detection network co-owned by WSI, Inc. and TOA Systems, Inc. WSI requested verification of USPLN performance over an extended period. Past lightning verification methods include fixed tower analyses, strike reports, and comparisons to other networks. The Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Surveillance System (CGLSS) is a local lightning detection network based at Kennedy Space Center/Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Present CGLSS-II (renamed from CGLSS in 2008 after upgrades) performance metrics include a 98% detection efficiency and 95% confidence location accuracy below 600 m. These strong performance metrics validate CGLSS-II as the primary verification tool used for this project. The main weakness for CGLSS-II is in detecting strong peak current strokes, whereas USPLN should perform better in this area.

The history and development of the networks were examined to determine appropriate verification time periods. Previous studies were also reviewed for analysis techniques. From this background information, the period of 20 May 2008 to 31 August 2010 was selected for primary evaluation. Additional sub-periods and spatial restrictions were implemented due to changes in the structure of both networks. Stroke data for each network were acquired and converted to similar formats. Methodologies used to correlate stroke data between networks, evaluate USPLN stroke detection efficiency, and evaluate USPLN location accuracy will be discussed. Sample results from individual case studies will also be presented.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner