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Lightning Application and Research Community (LARC) to Launch at International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity

At the International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity (ICAE 2014) Conference June 15-20 in Norman Okla., Earth Networks, the operator of the world’s largest lightning network, will formally announce the creation of the Lightning Application and Research Community (LARC), a new group for researchers and scientists with a mutual interest in furthering the understanding of atmospheric lightning. By fostering communications among researchers and scientists from both academic and public realms who study cloud-to-ground and in-cloud lightning, the mission of LARC is to create a forum for ongoing dialog and the collaborative exchange of lightning science research.

“With the growing interest in utilizing total lightning data in research, there needed to be a way to stimulate discussion and share efforts among the research and application community. The formation of LARC will provide a platform for scientists and researchers who share a common goal in furthering atmospheric science and associated technologies for monitoring and measuring lightning,” says Chris Sloop, Chief Technology Officer, Earth Networks.

More than 20 academic and research organizations currently utilize total lightning data from Earth Networks Total Lightning Network, a global network of more than 800 lightning sensors situated in over 40 countries around the world. The sensors within the network detect both cloud-to-ground lightning and in-cloud lightning strikes. In-cloud lightning has been shown to be a valuable precursor to severe weather, including strong winds, hail and tornadoes – and serves as the foundation of the Earth Networks Early Warning System.

During the ICAE conference, researchers from Earth Networks and other academic and research organizations, such as the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) in Brazil, will present sessions and posters based on data collected by the sensors within the Earth Networks Total Lightning Network. Highlights include:

  • Guinea-Conakry Lightning Network: In 2013, as part of a public-private partnership with the National Meteorological Service of Guinea, Africa, Earth Networks established the first-ever comprehensive lightning-based early warning system. An overview of the demonstration project and technology will be presented.
  • Proximity Alerts Based on Total Lightning: This poster session will present the science of lightning-based warnings based on the detection of in-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning.
  • BrasilDAT Lightning Network: Researchers from INPE will present a poster session entitled “Peak Current Analysis of Negative Flashes Detected by E-fast Antenna and BrasilDAT Lightning Location System.”
  • ENTLN Status Update: This session will focus on the heights of cloud pulses as detected by the Earth Networks Total Lightning Network. The network, for the first time, enables the measurement of heights over large areas, such as the U.S.
  • Total Lightning Data in Severe Storms: This poster session investigates how properties such as lightning flash rate, in-cloud/cloud-to-ground ratio, and peak currents may be used to characterize the lightning data in different types of severe storms.

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