Physics Department Colloquium
Dr. Jeff Lapierre, lightning scientist with Earth Networks in Maryland, will present the Physics Department Colloquium. His talk is “Earth Networks Total Lightning Network: A Great Operational Tool and an Even Better Scientific Tool.”
Lapierre earned his doctorate at New Mexico Tech in 2015 in atmospheric physics.
His talk is at 4 p.m. Thursday, August 26, in Workman 101.
As an essential climate variable, lightning data is recognized as a crucial tool for improving thunderstorm safety and awareness. Being able to detect where severe weather may be occurring in real-time is critical for nowcasting, particularly in regions with no radar coverage. Additionally, lighting flash rate is a valuable metric for estimating the convective severity of thunderstorms such as high winds, hail, and tornados. The Earth Networks Total Lightning Network (ENTLN) is comprised over 1800 of wideband electric field sensors to detect both the IC and CG flash signals efficiently. The ENTLN continuously measures lightning stroke occurrence time, location, type (IC and CG), polarity, and peak current, around the world. It has been operating since 2009 and has archived not only the lightning location data but also the raw electric field data from all the sensors in the network. Furthermore, the policy at Earth Networks is to provide any data used for scientific endeavors at no charge. Therefore, there is an abundance of data available to be used for scientific purposes. In this presentation, I will describe the network as well as highlight a few scientific applications of how the location and waveform data are used.