Vaisala owns and operates the leading global lightning detection network, the Global Lightning Dataset GLD360, which now offers lightning data with greater location accuracy, improved polarity classification and peak current estimates. These enhancements in data quality will help customers make more informed decisions, increase operational safety and efficiency, and deliver better services.
Vaisala has implemented a new processing algorithm that allows the global network to identify the location of a cloud-to-ground lightning stroke within a range of 2-5 kilometers. Polarity classification accuracy now stands at better than 90 percent, while peak current estimates have been improved to be accurate within 25 percent of the peak current value. The GLD360 is the only global lightning dataset that provides polarity and peak current estimates for lightning events.
"For the first time, quality lightning warnings are now possible on a global-scale," says Nick Demetriades, Offering Portfolio Manager for Vaisala’s Airports business.
"The significant improvement in the GLD360 data quality due to the vastly improved location accuracy of the global network, combined with its ability to detect approximately 70 percent of all cloud-to-ground lightning flashes, will improve the safety and efficiency of airport operations across the world."
As Vaisala’s global lightning detection network provides uniform coverage with high detection efficiency over the entire world, the GLD360 has more lightning information than any other comparable dataset in the world with daily counts routinely exceeding 1.5 million events.
Vaisala’s GLD360 is now able to locate and characterize lightning in areas of the world where meteorological observations may be partially lacking or absent. Data from the network can be easily assimilated into weather models to improve short-to-medium term weather forecasts. In addition, it can be used as a proxy for weather radar information in areas with limited or non-existent radar coverage.
Since Vaisala owns and operates the global network and delivers lightning data as a service, customers can access the information available in the GLD360 without having to make substantial hardware investments.