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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 25, issue 7
Ann. Geophys., 25, 1509–1517, 2007
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-25-1509-2007
© Author(s) 2007. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 25, 1509–1517, 2007
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-25-1509-2007
© Author(s) 2007. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  30 Jul 2007

30 Jul 2007

Lightning stroke distance estimation from single station observation and validation with WWLLN data

V. Ramachandran, J. N. Prakash, A. Deo, and S. Kumar V. Ramachandran et al.
  • School of Engineering and Physics, University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji

Abstract. A simple technique to estimate the distance of the lightning strikes d with a single VLF electromagnetic wave receiver at a single station is described. The technique is based on the recording of oscillatory waveforms of the electric fields of sferics. Even though the process of estimating d using the waveform is a rather classical one, a novel and simple procedure for finding d is proposed in this paper. The procedure adopted provides two independent estimates of the distance of the stroke. The accuracy of measurements has been improved by employing high speed (333 ns sampling rate) signal processing techniques. GPS time is used as the reference time, which enables us to compare the calculated distances of the lightning strikes, by both methods, with those calculated from the data obtained by the World-Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN), which uses a multi-station technique. The estimated distances of the lightning strikes (77), whose times correlated, ranged from ~3000–16 250 km. When d<3500 km, the average deviation in d compared with those calculated with the multi-station lightning location system is ~4.7%, while for all the strokes it was ~8.8%. One of the lightnings which was recorded by WWLLN, whose field pattern was recorded and the spectrogram of the sferic was also recorded at the site, is analyzed in detail. The deviations in d calculated from the field pattern and from the arrival time of the sferic were 3.2% and 1.5%, respectively, compared to d calculated from the WWLLN location. FFT analysis of the waveform showed that only a narrow band of frequencies is received at the site, which is confirmed by the intensity of the corresponding sferic in the spectrogram.

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