Selected by National Institute for Space Research for Brazilian Total Lightning Network
Germantown MD, USA & S??o Jos?? dos Campos, Brazil ??? — ??? Earth Networks has announced the selection of its lightning sensors and technology by the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE), the National Institute for Space Research, in Brazil.
Over the next three years, Earth Networks, with its partner Simtech, will work with INPE to deploy and operate the Brazilian Total Lightning Network (BTLN), consisting of a dense network of up to 200 WeatherBug Lightning Sensors (WLS -see photo).
The news follows a joint research and evaluation partnership between Earth Networks and INPE, in which the two organizations collaborated to deploy and test the performance of a network of 12 WeatherBug Lightning Sensors around S??o Paulo.
The ongoing research and testing involves the intensive evaluation of lightning location accuracy, detection efficiency, waveforms, event classification, peak current, storm tracking and other outputs derived from the network.
The deployment is being funded by research organizations, electric utilities, and other groups based in Brazil. The initial deployment consists of 60 sensors. Additional deployments from 2011 to 2013 will further strengthen and expand the network to cover all of Brazil with approximately 200 sensors.
???Brazil frequently experiences very intense thunderstorms, with lightning strikes concentrated in densely populated southern areas, including S??o Paulo and Rio de Janeiro,??? said Dr. Osmar Pinto, Jr., Coordinator of the Atmospheric Electricity Group (ELAT) at INPE.
???The prevalence of lightning is why we have a strong interest in building one of the most advanced lightning detection networks in the world. In thoroughly evaluating the WeatherBug Total Lightning System, we found that this new technology detects both in-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning with a high degree of location accuracy and detection efficiency. The BTLN has been very easy to deploy and we are confident that the lifecycle costs will be much less than our current system, making it possible for us to achieve a truly national lightning detection network in Brazil for the first time.???
To deploy and maintain the sensors, Earth Networks is partnering with Simtech (www.simtech.com.br), a Rio de Janeiro-based company that represents in Brazil the world???s leading manufacturers of remote sensing and weather systems, and has more than two decades of experience in deploying a wide variety of technologies throughout the country.
With the deployment, INPE and its partners will directly benefit from the advanced lightning intelligence provided by the Brazilian Total Lightning Network.
In addition, lightning information from the network, for the first time in Brazil, will be also available to other industries, including utilities, transportation, petrochemical, and others. This new lightning information, combined with other WeatherBug solutions, can further be utilized for storm cell tracking and advance severe storm warning capabilities for improved public safety, property protection and business continuity.
For utilities, current and historical lightning information can be integrated into smart grid applications for improved outage management, asset protection, load distribution and crew safety.
???We are extremely pleased that the detection capabilities of our WeatherBug Total Lightning System have been and will continue to be evaluated by INPE, a world-renowned lightning research organization that has unparalleled assets for conducting this research,??? said Senior Lightning Scientist Stan Heckman of Earth Networks.
???INPE???s decision to deploy our solution is a major achievement and we look forward to future collaboration with INPE and other lightning researchers to discover new applications and enhancements for WTLS that will benefit not only Brazil, but the entire world.???
The WeatherBug Total Lightning System utilizes state-of-the-art detection technology and powerful processing algorithms to provide integrated in-cloud (IC) and cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning detection capabilities at the fastest speeds possible.
The WeatherBug Total Lightning System records lightning waveforms from 1 Hz to 12 MHz, a wide frequency range that enables the detection of both in-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning on a continental scale. In-cloud lightning detection at high efficiencies enables the prediction of severe weather phenomena such as heavy rain, hail, high winds, tornadoes, downburst winds and damaging cloud-to-ground strikes.
WeatherBug Lightning Sensors are designed to be easy to deploy and maintain, greatly reducing the overall lifecycle cost.
More information can be found at: weather.weatherbug.com/weatherbug-professional/products/total-lightning-network.
About Earth Networks
Founded in 1993 as AWS Convergence Technologies, Earth Networks operates the largest weather observation and lightning networks in the world and is establishing a global environmental data network on an unprecedented scale.?? Earth Networks owns and operates the WeatherBug brand, which precisely monitors, organizes and distributes global weather information. The WeatherBug consumer brand (http://www.weatherbug.com) reaches millions as a trusted source for live, local weather information, while the WeatherBug professional brand (www.weatherbugprofessional.com) serves a variety of markets that include federal, state and local governments, education, agriculture, energy and utilities, sports and recreation, media and transportation. Each day, consumers and organizations, including the National Weather Service, turn to WeatherBug to plan daily activities, safeguard lives and improve business operations. Earth Networks is based in Germantown, Maryland and is online at www.earthnetworks.com.