T&D World Magazine

Lightning Processor Location Algorithm Added to North American Detection Network

Vaisala has added its latest patented Total Lightning Processor location algorithm to the North American Lightning Detection Network, which includes the National Lightning Detection Network and the Canadian Lightning Detection Network.

The NALDN will now be able to identify the site of a lightning strike within a range of 200 meters. This will allow Vaisala's customers in the electricity transmission sector to more accurately correlate power line faults with cloud-to-ground lightning strikes as well as reduce maintenance time resulting in improved efficiency. Similarly, other customers will be able to avoid false alarms and make more informed decisions for public safety.

Because Vaisala values scientific integrity, the previous location accuracy was conservatively published at 500 meters. The improvement in accuracy has been scientifically validated by the University of Florida using a ground truth methodology making the NALDN the most precise lightning technology in North America.

Vaisala has been operating the NLDN for more than 23 years, manufacturing lightning detection equipment for 35 years.

"Rocket-triggered lightning, because of its precisely-known ground termination point, is an effective tool for estimating location errors of various lightning detection systems. For lightning triggered by the University of Florida at the International Center for Lightning Research and Testing (ICLRT) in 2008-2009, the NLDN median location error was originally estimated to be 361 meters, and it decreased to 235 meters in the Florida area after applying location-specific propagation corrections to the arrival times measured by NLDN sensors. This was a focused study in the Florida area around the Camp Blanding facility," said Vladimir A. Rakov, professor and co-director of ICLRT, University of Florida.

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