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Current Los Alamos Sferic Array Studies

Matthew J Heavner, David A Smith, and Jeremiah Harlin

NIS-1, Space and Atmospheric Sciences, Los Alamos National Laboratory

LAUR # 00-4770

This paper will be presented at Global Atmospherics' 2000 International Lightning Detection Conference at 4:20 pm on November 7, 2000 in Tuscon, AZ. Please use the following reference:

Heavner, M. J., D. A. Smith, and J. Harlin, "Current Los Alamos Sferic Array Studies", presented at 2000 International Lightning Detection Conference, November 7, 2000,

This paper is also available in postscript and pdf formats.


An array of fast electric-field-change sensors has been operated in New Mexico, Texas, Florida, and Nebraska during 1998-2000 to improve identification of lightning processes responsible for VHF and optical signals detected by the FORTE satellite. Differential time of arrival methods are used to provide geo-locations of events from multi-station observations. A comparison of two dimensional location from the sferic array and the National Lightning Detection Network operated by Global Atmospherics, Inc. is presented. Also, the time differences of multiple paths of the lightning signals to a station due to ionospheric reflection can be used to determine the altitude of a temporally narrow event. We present altitude determination of Compact Intracloud Discharges observed by the sferic array and compare with the Kennedy Space Center Lightning Detection and Ranging (LDAR) system in Florida.


Matthew J. Heavner