LOFAR lightning imaging: mapping lightning with nanosecond precision

B.M. Hare, O. Scholten, A. Bonardi, S. Buitink, A. Corstanje, U. Ebert, H. Falcke, J.R. Hörandel, H. Leijnse, P. Mitra, K. Mulrey, A. Nelles, J. P. Rachen, L. Rossetto, C. Rutjes, P. Schellart, S. Thoudam, T.N.G. Trinh, S. ter Veen, T. Winchen

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Abstract

Lightning mapping technology has proven instrumental in understanding lightning. In this work we present a pipeline that can use lightning observed by the LOw-Frequency ARray (LOFAR) radio telescope to construct a 3-D map of the flash. We show that LOFAR has unparalleled precision, on the order of meters, even for lightning flashes that are over 20 km outside the area enclosed by LOFAR antennas (∼3,200 km2), and can potentially locate over 10,000 sources per lightning flash. We also show that LOFAR is the first lightning mapping system that is sensitive to the spatial structure of the electrical current during individual lightning leader steps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2861-2876
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research. D, Atmospheres
Volume123
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2018

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lightning
Lightning
image analysis
Imaging techniques
flash
Radio telescopes
electric current
radio telescopes
antenna arrays
meters (equipment)
Antenna arrays
antennae
radio
antenna
Pipelines

Keywords

  • leader propagation
  • lightning
  • lightning mapping
  • LOFAR
  • time of arrival

Cite this

Hare, B. M., Scholten, O., Bonardi, A., Buitink, S., Corstanje, A., Ebert, U., ... Winchen, T. (2018). LOFAR lightning imaging: mapping lightning with nanosecond precision. Journal of Geophysical Research. D, Atmospheres, 123(5), 2861-2876. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JD028132
Hare, B.M. ; Scholten, O. ; Bonardi, A. ; Buitink, S. ; Corstanje, A. ; Ebert, U. ; Falcke, H. ; Hörandel, J.R. ; Leijnse, H. ; Mitra, P. ; Mulrey, K. ; Nelles, A. ; Rachen, J. P. ; Rossetto, L. ; Rutjes, C. ; Schellart, P. ; Thoudam, S. ; Trinh, T.N.G. ; ter Veen, S. ; Winchen, T. / LOFAR lightning imaging : mapping lightning with nanosecond precision. In: Journal of Geophysical Research. D, Atmospheres. 2018 ; Vol. 123, No. 5. pp. 2861-2876.
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Hare, BM, Scholten, O, Bonardi, A, Buitink, S, Corstanje, A, Ebert, U, Falcke, H, Hörandel, JR, Leijnse, H, Mitra, P, Mulrey, K, Nelles, A, Rachen, JP, Rossetto, L, Rutjes, C, Schellart, P, Thoudam, S, Trinh, TNG, ter Veen, S & Winchen, T 2018, 'LOFAR lightning imaging: mapping lightning with nanosecond precision', Journal of Geophysical Research. D, Atmospheres, vol. 123, no. 5, pp. 2861-2876. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JD028132

LOFAR lightning imaging : mapping lightning with nanosecond precision. / Hare, B.M.; Scholten, O.; Bonardi, A.; Buitink, S.; Corstanje, A.; Ebert, U.; Falcke, H.; Hörandel, J.R.; Leijnse, H.; Mitra, P.; Mulrey, K.; Nelles, A.; Rachen, J. P.; Rossetto, L.; Rutjes, C.; Schellart, P.; Thoudam, S.; Trinh, T.N.G.; ter Veen, S.; Winchen, T.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research. D, Atmospheres, Vol. 123, No. 5, 16.03.2018, p. 2861-2876.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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T1 - LOFAR lightning imaging

T2 - mapping lightning with nanosecond precision

AU - Hare, B.M.

AU - Scholten, O.

AU - Bonardi, A.

AU - Buitink, S.

AU - Corstanje, A.

AU - Ebert, U.

AU - Falcke, H.

AU - Hörandel, J.R.

AU - Leijnse, H.

AU - Mitra, P.

AU - Mulrey, K.

AU - Nelles, A.

AU - Rachen, J. P.

AU - Rossetto, L.

AU - Rutjes, C.

AU - Schellart, P.

AU - Thoudam, S.

AU - Trinh, T.N.G.

AU - ter Veen, S.

AU - Winchen, T.

PY - 2018/3/16

Y1 - 2018/3/16

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AB - Lightning mapping technology has proven instrumental in understanding lightning. In this work we present a pipeline that can use lightning observed by the LOw-Frequency ARray (LOFAR) radio telescope to construct a 3-D map of the flash. We show that LOFAR has unparalleled precision, on the order of meters, even for lightning flashes that are over 20 km outside the area enclosed by LOFAR antennas (∼3,200 km2), and can potentially locate over 10,000 sources per lightning flash. We also show that LOFAR is the first lightning mapping system that is sensitive to the spatial structure of the electrical current during individual lightning leader steps.

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KW - lightning

KW - lightning mapping

KW - LOFAR

KW - time of arrival

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