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the north alabama lightning mapping array (lma): a network overviewThe North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) is s a 3-D VHF regional lightning detection system that provides on-orbit algorithm validation and instrument performance assessments for the NASA Lightning Imaging Sensor, as well as information on storm kinematics and updraft evolution that offers the potential to improve severe storm warning lead time by up t o 50% and decrease te false alarm r a t e ( for non-tornado producing storms). In support of this latter function, the LMA serves as a principal component of a severe weather test bed to infuse new science and technology into the short-term forecasting of severe and hazardous weather, principally within nearby National Weather Service forecast offices. The LMA, which became operational i n November 2001, consists of VHF receivers deployed across northern Alabama and a base station located at the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC), which is on t h e campus of the University of Alabama in Huntsville. The LMA system locates the sources of impulsive VHF radio signals s from lightning by accurately measuring the time that the signals aririve at the different receiving stations. Each station's records the magnitude and time of the peak lightning radiation signal in successive 80 ms intervals within a local unused television channel (channel 5, 76-82 MHz in our case ) . Typically hundreds of sources per flash can be reconstructed, which i n t u r n produces accurate 3-dimensional lightning image maps (nominally <50 m error within 150 la. range). The data are transmitted back t o a base station using 2.4 GHz wireless Ethernet data links and directional parabolic grid antennas. There are four repeaters in the network topology and the links have an effective data throughput rate ranging from 600 kbits s -1 t o 1.5 %its s -1. This presentation provides an overview of t h e North Alabama network, the data processing (both real-time and post processing) and network statistics.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Blakeslee, R. J.
Bailey, J.
Buechler, D.
Goodman, S. J.
McCaul, E. W., Jr.
Hall, J.
Date Acquired
August 22, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2005
Subject Category
Meteorology and Climatology
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
American Meteorological Society 85th Annual Meeting/Conference on Meteorological Applications og Lightning Data(San Diego, CA)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.