S93 The TETRA-II Experiment to Observe Terrestrial Gamma Flashes at Ground Level – Analysis of Nearby Thunderstorm Activity and Comparison with Lightning Data

Sunday, 7 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 5 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Deirdre Smith, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA

Terrestrial gamma ray flashes (TGFs) are millisecond bursts of high-energy electrons propagated within the atmosphere. An upgraded version of the TGF and Energetic Thunderstorm Rooftop Array (TETRA-II) consists of an array of BGO scintillators to detect TGFs from thunderstorms at ground-level in four locations: the campus of Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; the campus of the University of Puerto Rico at Utuado, Puerto Rico, in conjunction with the already existing Puerto Rico Lightning Detection Network (PRLDN) of radio receivers; the Centro Nacional de Metrologia de Panama (CENAMEP) in Panama City, Panama; and the Severe Weather Institute and Radar & Lightning Laboratories in Huntsville, Alabama. The original TETRA-I array of NaI scintillators at LSU detected 37 millisecond-scale bursts of gamma-rays at energies of 50 keV-2 MeV associated with nearby (< 8 km) thunderstorms. TETRA-II began operation in May 2016 and now has approximately an order of magnitude greater sensitivity to individual events than TETRA-I. The ability to observe ground-level bursts from close to the source allows an analysis of the storm cells producing these events. An analysis of storms associated with TETRA II gamma-ray events is provided using NEXRAD Level II base-reflectivity scans to determine specific storm features before, during, and after the occurrence of each event. Louisiana events appear to occur within most major thunderstorm types, in particular as the cell is transitioning into the dissipating stage of evolution.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner