Upgrade to the Broadband Observation network for Lightning and Thunderstorms
Abstract:Observation sensors for lightning discharges sense electromagnetic waves, mainly in the ELF to UHF range, and especially in the LF and VHF bands. VHF band sensor sensors can observe lightning discharge process in detail but its observation coverage is limited. On the other hand, LF band sensor can observe lightning at much great distances. Therefore, LF sensors are well adapted to observe lightning throughout a thunderstorm’s life cycle.
Our research group has been designing and developing the Broadband Observation network for Lightning and Thunderstorm (BOLT), which locates radiation sources associated with lightning discharge in three spatial dimensions. BOLT consists of 11 LF band sensors which detect lightning pulses wide frequency range from 5 kHz to 500 kHz. We have been operating BOLT in Kansai area of Japan, locating both cloud-to-ground and intracloud discharges. Currently, the BOLT system observes about 100 to 1000 lightning pulses per flash, but we are striving to improve both the detection efficiency and the location accuracy.
Preliminary investigation show that the number of sources located, increases dramatically when only the highest portion of the BLOT frequency band is used far location. So, our research group has proposed improving a new “DDT” antenna sensor design to improve the high frequency sensitivity of the antenna. The DDT antenna consists of a modified charge amplifier circuit. In this research, we present a comparison of the DDT antenna and show the advantages of the DDT antenna.