Citation
Time and frequency domain analysis of thunderstorm-associated narrow bipolar electromagnetic pulses and cloud-to-ground lightning fields

Material Information

Title:
Time and frequency domain analysis of thunderstorm-associated narrow bipolar electromagnetic pulses and cloud-to-ground lightning fields
Creator:
Medelius, Pedro Javier, 1956- ( Dissertant )
Thomson, Ewen M. ( Thesis advisor )
Uman, Martin A. ( Thesis advisor )
Taylor, Fred J. ( Reviewer )
Couch, Leon W. ( Reviewer )
Elzinga, Donald J. ( Reviewer )
Phillips, Winfred M. ( Degree grantor )
Lockhart, Madelyn, M. ( Degree grantor )
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publisher:
University of Florida
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
1993
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xxx, 371 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Dissertations, Academic -- Electrical Engineering -- UF
Electrical Engineering thesis Ph. D
Electromagnetic fields -- Measurement ( lcsh )
Lightning -- Measurement ( lcsh )
Lightning ( jstor )
Electric fields ( jstor )
Waveforms ( jstor )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Abstract:
Single-station electric field (E) and electric field derivative (dE/dt) waveforms were recorded at digitization rates up to 400 MS/s during 1989 and 1990 at the Kennedy Space Center. Narrow bipolar pulses (NBP’s) were found to occur separate from typical lightning events, but to be thunderstorm related. Frequency spectra for E obtained from NBP’s dropped at a rate of close to 1/f up to about 20MHz and became flat afterwards up to their 50 MHz Nyquist frequency. NBP’s contained higher energy than return strokes above 10-20 MHz. NBP Spectra found from the output of digitally simulation narrowband receivers tended to underestimate the wideband frequency spectra by as much as 10dB, indicated that the spectra obtained using narrowband receivers are unreliable. Initial E-field peaks fo NBP’s had a mean rise time of 1.38 us. Large positive dE/dt pulses had a mean half width of 7 ns, much shorter than the 49 ns reported by Willett et al. (1989). The existence of a single process responsible for VHF radiation from lightning, such as that proposed by Labaune et al. (1990), was tested using deconvolution methods on the NBP waveforms. Our analysis failed to identify a single basic, component in these pulses. Electric fields from lightning strikes at distances within 1-2 km consistently exhibited a chaotic behavior during the stepped leader, whereas distant stepped leaders did not. This “chaos” ranged from pulses occurring at rates close to one pulse per us to a continuous noise-like high frequency signal with frequency components extending beyond 120 MHz. In agreement with other reports in the literature, we found that HF radiation following return strokes peaked 20-30 us after the onset of the return stroke, and persisted for several tens of microseconds after the peak. However, the short propagation path (less than 7.5 km) over salt water does not support the widely accepted hypothesis that the delayed peak arises as a result of propagation effects.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1993.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 363-370).
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Pedro Javier Medelius.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Pedro Javier Medelius. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
030002828 ( ALEPH )
29860936 ( OCLC )
AJX3146 ( NOTIS )

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Full Text












TIME AND FREQUENCY DOMAIN ANALYSIS OF THUNDERSTORMASSOCIATED NARROW BIPOLAR ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSES AND CLOUD-TO-GROUND LIGHTNING FIELDS















By

PEDRO JAVIER MEDELIUS


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY QF FLORIDA


1993
































To my parents















ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I wish to thank Dr. Ewen Thomson for his advice and guidance during the course of my research. His experience and dedication were very important to the success of the experiments. I truly appreciate the countless hours we spent analyzing data and discussing results.

The continuous assistance and support provided by Dr. Martin Uman was of great help. His vast knowledge and

interest of lightning processes were important factors in the planning and development of the experiments.

I especially appreciate the support I received from my wife Martha, who accepted the fact that I had to work long hours and that we could not spend much time together until I finished the dissertation. I was very motivated by her continuous encouragement and unconditional support.

I wish to thank Dr. Fred Taylor and Ms. Monica Murphy, who developed and provided a large portion of the DSP software used in the analysis of our data.

I would also like to thank my co-workers at the Lightning Research Laboratory: Dr. Marcos Rubinstein, who provided a lot of insight into the theory behind the experiments; Mr. Jamie Stone, who wrote and optimized several programs needed for the experiments; Mr. Tim Tron and Mr. Hector Corazzini,


iii









who were of great help setting up the experiments; and Dr. Doug Jordan and Dr. Rajeev Thottappillil who were always there ready and willing to help.

I appreciate the support provided by Mr. William Jafferis of NASA at the Kennedy Space Center. Without his assistance, the experiments could not have been conducted.

Finally, I would like to thank my parents, who encouraged and persuaded me to pursue postgraduate studies.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS
page

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. iii

LIST OF TABLES. ix

LIST OF FIGURES. xii

ABSTRACT. xxix

CHAPTERS

1 INTRODUCTION. 1

2 LITERATURE REVIEW . 8

2.1 Introduction. . 8 2.2 The Ground Flash. 8
2.3 Radiation Electric Fields from Intracloud
Lightning. 11
2.4 Frequency Spectra. 14
2.4.1 Narrowband Measurements . 15 2.4.2 Wideband Measurements. 19
2.5 Time-of-Arrival Systems. 24
2.5.1 Long Baseline Time-of-Arrival Systems. 24 2.5.2 Short Baseline Time-of-Arrival Systems. 28
2.6 Interferometric Systems . 30

3 EXPERIMENT. . 34

3.1 The 1989 Experiment . 34
3.1.1 Electric Field Integrators . 38 3.1.2 VHF Receivers. . . 40 3.1.3 Logarithmic Amplifier . 43 3.1.4 Remote Control . 48
3.2 The 1990 Experiment . 50 3.3 Calibration. 64
3.3.1 dE/dt. . 64 3.3.2 Electric Field Integrators . 67 3.3.3 1989 Experiment . 68 3.3.4 1990 Experiment . 70

4 NARROW BIPOLAR PULSES - TIME DOMAIN ANALYSIS. 73

4.1 Data Processing. 73










4.2 1989 Experiment . 75
4.2.1 Characterization of Narrow Bipolar
Pulses . 76
4.2.2 Discussion . 94 4.3 1990 Experiment . 97
4.3.1 Characterization of Narrow Bipolar
Pulses. 97
4.3.2 Discussion . 104
4.4 Detailed Analysis of Five Narrow Bipolar Pulses . 106
4.5 Effect of Lowpass Filtering Wideband dE/dt Records . 120
4.6 Simulated Waveshapes from Narrowband Receivers. 126
4.7 Existence of a Basic Component of Lightning Radiation. 135
4.8 Time-of-Arrival Errors. 144
4.8.1 Errors Introduced by Receivers with
Different Characteristics . 146
4.8.2 Discussion. 151

5 CLOUD-TO-GROUND DISCHARGES . 155

5.1 1990 Measurements. 155 5.2 First Return Strokes. 158 5.3 Stepped Leaders. 162 5.4 Chaotic Leaders. 166
5.5 Continuous Noise Preceding Close Lightning
Strikes. . . 173
5.6 Subsequent Strokes. 179
5.7 High Frequency Radiation Associated with
Return Strokes. 183
5.8 Effects of HF Attenuation on a Baseband
TOA System . 198
5.9 Discussion . 204
5.9.1 Chaotic Leaders . 204 5.9.2 HF Noise After Return Strokes. 205
5.9.3 Effects of HF Attenuation on a TOA
System . 207

6 FREQUENCY DOMAIN ANALYSIS . 209

6.1 Theory . 209
6.1.1 Fast Fourier Transform . 209 6.1.2 Spectrum Using Narrowband Receivers. 210
6.2 Testing of the Simulated Narrowband
Receivers. 212
6.3 Narrow Bipolar Pulses. 221
6.3.1 Broadband Spectrum . 221
6.3.2 Spectrum Errors Using Narrowband
Rec�ivers. 233
6.4 Cloud-to-Ground Activity . 247









6.4.1 Analysis Technique. 247 6.4.2 First Return Stroke Spectra. 247 6.4.3 Stepped Leader Spectra. 250 6.4.4 Chaotic Leader Spectra. 254
6.4.5 Time Variation of the Spectra for the
Activity Preceding a Ground Flash at
150 m . 267
6.4.6 Time Variation of the Spectra for the
Activity Preceding a Ground Flash at
50 m . 273
6.4.7 Subsequent Return Stroke Spectra. 282
6.5 Summary. 282

7 DISCUSSION. 286

7.1 Possible Propagation Effects in the Narrow Bipolar Data of Willett et al. (1989). 286
7.2 Frequency Spectra of Narrow Bipolar Pulses. 291
7.2.1 Broadband Frequency Spectra of Narrow
Bipolar Pulses . 291
7.2.2 Effects of Aliasing on the Frequency
Spectra . 295
7.2.3 Spectrum Errors Using Narrowband
Receivers . 296
7.3 Effects of the Characteristics of
Waveforms on TOA systems. 299
7.4 Search for the Existence of a Basic
Component of Narrow Bipolar Pulses. 301
7.5 Origin of Narrow Pulses . 304 7.6 Cloud-to-Ground Discharges. 306
7.6.1 Stepped Leaders. 307 7.6.2 Chaotic Leaders. 310
7.6.3 Continuous dE/dt Noise Preceding Close
Lightning Strikes. 312
7.6.4 First Return Strokes. 312 7.6.5 Subsequent Return Strokes. 314
7.6.6 Propagation Effects on the Electric
Fields from Leaders and Return
Strokes . 316
7.7 Comparison of the Spectra of Narrow Bipolar
Pulses with the Spectra of Return Strokes. 321
7.8 Origin of the Chaotic Behavior and
Continuous High Frequency Noise Preceding
Close Return Strokes. 323
7.9 Possible Effects of Resonances on the
Ground Plane . 324
7.10 Summary. 326

8 SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH . 330

8.1 Investigation of the Existence of a Basic
Wavelet. 330


vii









8.2 Wideband Electric Field and dE/dt
Measurements. . . 333
8.3 Occurrence of Narrow Bipolar Pulses in
Relation to Other Lightning Processes. 336
8.4 Characteristics of Lightning During
Different Stages of a Thunderstorm . 337
8.5 Time-of-Arrival System . 337

APPENDIX

COMPUTER PROGRAMS. 339

1 CONV1990.C. 339 2 FFTMUX. 341 3 MUX. . 349 4 Narrow Band Receivers. 354

REFERENCES. 363

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 371


viii















LIST OF TABLES


Table Paqe


3.1 Summary of the data collected during the
experiment conducted in 1989. 35

3.2 Characteristics of the integrators used in
the experiment conducted in 1989. 41

3.3 Summary of the data collected during the
experiment conducted in 1990. 62

4.1 Characterization of narrow bipolar pulses
recorded during the experiment conducted in
1989. 81

4.2 Characterization of narrow bipolar pulses in
groups A, B, and C. The data were recorded
during the experiment conducted in 1989. The
mean values are presented . . . 91

4.3 Characterization of narrow bipolar pulses in
groups D, E, and F. The data were recorded
during the experiment conducted in 1989. The
mean values are presented. 92

4.4 Characterization of narrow bipolar pulses in
groups G, H, and I. The data were recorded
during the experiment conducted in 1989. The
mean values are presented . 93

4.5 Characterization of narrow bipolar pulses
recorded during the experiment conducted in
1990. * ** * * 99

4.6 Characterization of narrow bipolar pulses in
groups A, B, and C. The data were recorded
during the experiment conducted in 1990. The.
mean values are presented. 100

4.7 Characterization of narrow groups D, E, and F. The data were recorded
during the experiment conducted in 1990. The
mean values are presented. 101









4.8 Characterization of narrow bipolar pulses in
groups G, H, and I. The data were recorded
during the experiment conducted in 1990. The
mean values are presented. 102

4.9 Characterization of narrow bipolar pulses in
groups J, K, and L. The data were recorded
during the experiment conducted in 1990. The
mean values are presented. 103

4.10 Effect of lowpass filtering on the peak dE/dt
amplitude. Asterisks [*] indicate the -3 dB
point with respect to the peak dE/dt at a
140 MHz cutoff frequency. 124

4.11 Ratio of the peak dE/dt value to the peak E
value after lowpass filtering the dE/dt
records. Asterisks [*] indicate the
frequency at which the ratio is similar to
that obtained by Willett et al.(1989). 125

4.12 Time of arrival based on the peak dE/dt
amplitude. Times are shown in ns and are
relative to the time of the peak at the
center frequency in each band. 152

4.13 Time of arrival based on maximum cross
correlation. Times are shown in ns and are
relative to the maximum cross correlation
obtained at the center of each band . 153

5.1 Cloud-to-ground strikes analyzed in this
dissertation. 159

5.2 Peak dE/dt values obtained after filtering the
wideband record of flash 24200018. The
amplitude and time errors are computed using
the time of occurrence of the peak and the
peak dE/dt amplitude at 140 MHz lowpass as a
reference. 200

5.3 Peak dE/dt values obtained after filtering the
wideband record of flash 24200026. The
amplitude and time errors are computed using
the time of occurrence of the peak and the
peak dE/dt amplitude at 140 MHz lowpass as a
reference.202


5.4 Peak dE/dt values obtained after filtering the
wideband rec6rd of flash 24200149. The
amplitude and time errors are computed using









the time of occurrence of the peak and the
peak dE/dt amplitude at 140 MHz lowpass as a
reference. 203

6.1 Spectral amplitude of flash 24200181 relative
to section 1. (15-12.5 ps before the onset
of the return stroke) . 281















LIST OF FIGURES


Figure Page

3.1 Basic recording configuration of the 1989
experiment. 37

3.2 Schematic diagram of the electric field
integrators. 39

3.3 Schematic diagram of the 50 MHz receiver . 42

3.4 Frequency response of the 50 MHz receiver. 44

3.5 Block diagram of the down converter stage
used to receive 225 MHz signals with the
50 MHz VHF receiver . 45

3.6 Frequency response of the 225 MHz receiver. 46

3.7 Schematic diagram of the logarithmic
amplifier used to measure narrowband
VHF signals . 47

3.8 Frequency response of the logarithmic
amplifier. 49

3.9 Block diagram of the clock circuitry used for
the 400-MHz sampling with the LeCroy
digitizing equipment . 51

3.10 Four possible interlaced combinations of a
sinewave recorded with the 400 MS/s
system. 53

3.11 Fast Fourier transforms of the four
interlaced combinations of the waveforms
shown in figure 3.10. 54

3.12 Schematic diagram of the sharp rolloff
lowpass filter used to prevent aliasing. 57

3.13 Frequency response of the sharp rolloff
lowpass filter shown in figure 3.12 . 58


xii









3.14 Frequency response of the complete 400 MS/s
digitizing system, including the antialiasing filter . 60

3.15 Schematic of the flat plate antennas and
ground plane used for the wideband
electric field measurements conducted in
1990. 61

3.16 Configuration of the dE/dt recording system
used in the experiment conducted in 1990. 65

4.1 Electric field and dE/dt waveforms. (a) dE/dt
record exhibiting large variations before
and after the E-field peak. (b) dE/dt
waveform monotonically varying and closely
associated with the E-field fast rise to
peak. (c) dE/dt waveform monotonically
varying before the E-field peak, and
exhibiting large variations thereafter. 79

4.2 Parameters used for the characterization of
the narrow bipolar pulses recorded during the 1989 experiment. From top to bottom:
Electric field, dE/dt, and expanded dE/dt. 80

4.3 Number of positive dE/dt pulses in each
of the four bipolar pulse regions. The meaning of the shadings is described in
figure 4.5 . 82

4.4 Number of negative dE/dt pulses in each
of the four bipolar pulse regions. The meaning of the shadings is described in
figure 4.5. 83

4.5 Shading showing the relative amplitude of
the dE/dt pulses with respect to the largest dE/dt pulse in the waveform.
I) 0-25% of the largest dE/dt pulse
II) 25-50% of the largest dE/dt pulse
III) 50-75% of the largest dE/dt pulse
IV) 75-100% of the largest dE/dt pulse. 84

4.6 A 10 minute interval showing the location
of lightning strikes to ground with
respect to the measuring site. Also
shown is the average peak dE/dt to peak E-field ratio for narrow bipolar pulses
recorded during the same time window.
The location of the measuring site is


xiii









indicated by the large dot close to the
center of the graph. 86

4.7 A 10 minute interval showing the location
of lightning strikes to ground with respect to the measuring site. Also
shown is the average peak dE/dt to peak E-field ratio for narrow bipolar pulses
recorded during the same time window.
The location of the measuring site is
indicated by the large dot close to the
center of the graph. 87

4.8 A 10 minute interval showing the location
of lightning strikes to ground with respect to the measuring site. Also
shown is the average peak dE/dt to peak E-field ratio for narrow bipolar pulses
recorded during the same time window.
The location of the measuring site is
indicated by the large dot close to the
center of the graph . 88

4.9 A 10 minute interval showing the location
of lightning strikes to ground with respect to the measuring site. Also
shown is the average peak dE/dt to peak E-field ratio for narrow bipolar pulses
recorded during the same time window.
The location of the measuring site is
indicated by the large dot close to the
center of the graph . 89

4.10 Total number of positive and negative dE/dt
pulses occurring during narrow bipolar
pulses included in group D . 95

4.11 Peak dE/dt amplitude vs. cutoff frequency
for the narrow bipolar pulses. The graph
shows the peak dE/dt amplitude after
lowpass filtering the wideband bipolar
pulse dE/dt waveforms using digital
filters. 107

4.12 Occurrence of narrow bipolar pulse 25900076
in relation to other electric field
activity. The NBP is indicated by an
arrow. Negative-going pulses are distant
lightning activity. The time scale is
250 milliseconds per division. 109


xiv









4.13 dE/dt and E-field waveforms corresponding to
narrow bipolar pulse 25900076. 110

4.14 dE/dt and E-field waveforms corresponding to
narrow bipolar pulse 25900444. 111

4.15 dE/dt and E-field waveforms corresponding to
narrow bipolar pulse 25900534. 112

4.16 dE/dt and E-field waveforms corresponding to
narrow bipolar pulse 25900594. 113

4.17 dE/dt and E-field waveforms corresponding to
narrow bipolar pulse 25900709 . 114

4.18 Expanded scale of event 25900534. Each
section represents 312 nanoseconds of
dE/dt radiation. Sections are consecutive,
starting from the top . 117

4.19 Event 25900534. Four consecutive 312
nanosecond sections immediately following
the sections displayed in figure 4.18.
Sections start from the top . 118

4.20 Expanded scale of event 25900444. Each
section represents 312 nanoseconds of
dE/dt radiation. Sections are consecutive,
starting from the top. 119

4.21 Lowpass filtering of event 25900076. The top
trace shows the wideband dE/dt record. The bottom trace shows the same record filtered
at a 30 MHz cutoff frequency. 122

4.22 Lowpass filtering of event 25900534. The top
trace shows the wideband dE/dt record. The bottom trace shows the same record filtered
at a 40 MHz cutoff frequency. 123

4.23 Digital simulation of envelope detector
receivers. 128

4.24 Outputs of simulated envelope detector
receivers when using pulse 25900076 as an
input. Shown from top to bottom are the
outputs of 10-MHz wide receivers centered
at 35, 45, 55, and 65 MHz. 130

4.25 Amplitude Spectrum of a 1 Ms section at the
start of the activity of bipolar pulse
25900076. 131









4.26 Amplitude Spectrum of a 1 ps section of the
activity of bipolar pulse 25900076
following the section whose spectrum was
presented in figure 4.25. 132


4.27 Amplitude Spectrum of a 1 ps section of the
activity of bipolar pulse 25900076
following the section whose spectrum was
presented in figure 4.26. 133

4.28 Amplitude Spectrum of a 1 Ms section of the
activity of bipolar pulse 25900076
following the section whose spectrum was
presented in figure 4.27 . 134

4.29 Broadband pulse typical of VHF-UHF radiation
from lightning. (from Labaune et al.,
1990). 136

4.30 Waveform generated to test the deconvolution
operation. (a) Basic wavelet. (b) Echo
delayed 200 sample points, 50% amplitude.
(c) Echo delayed 400 sample points, 25%
amplitude. (d) Test waveform generated by
adding (a), (b), and (c) . 141

4.31 Deconvolution process. (a) Cepstrum obtained
from the test waveform shown in figure
4.30(d). (b) Time domain filter used to
remove echoes from the complex cepstrum . 142

4.32 Deconvolution process. (a) Recovered wavelet.
(b) Original wavelet, shown again for
comparison. 143

4.33 Cepstrums obtained for event 25900594. (a)
100 nsec record. (b) 200 nsec record. (c)
500 nsec record. (d) 1 psec record. 145

4.34 Event 25900444. Output of digitally
simulated receivers with a 5 MHz bandwidth.
The center frequencies are, from top to
bottom: 43,44,45,46,and 47 MHz. 149

4.35 Event 25900444. Output of digitally
simulated receivers with a 10 MHz bandwidth.
The center frequencies are, from top to
bottom: 43,44,45,46,and 47 MHz. 150

5.1. Electric fild and dE/dt record corresponding
to the return stroke 24200018. The


xvi









distance to the flash was 5.5 km. The
duration of the record is 80 ps.
The onset of the return stroke is at
t=41 s . 157

5.2. Four consecutive 1.25 ps-long expanded
records corresponding to the dE/dt
radiation of return stroke 24200018.
Records start from the top. The start of
the first record is 750 ns before the
onset of the return stroke. The distance
to the flash was 5.5 km. 160

5.3. Electric field and dE/dt record corresponding
to return stroke 24200026. The distance to
the flash was 5 km. The duration of the
record is 80 ps. The onset of the return
stroke is at t=40 gs. 161

5.4. Electric field and dE/dt record corresponding
to step leader pulses from event 24200040.
The distance to the flash was 4.2 km. The
duration of the record is 80 gs. The onset
of the return stroke is at t=46 ps. 163

5.5. Electric field and dE/dt record corresponding
to step leader pulses from event 24200149.
The distance to the flash was 7.5 km. The
duration of the record is 80 ps. The onset
of the return stroke is at t=69 ps. 164

5.6. Electric field and dE/dt record corresponding
to step leader pulses from event 24200301.
The distance to the flash was 1.8 km. The
duration of the record is 80 ps. The onset
of the return stroke is at t=58 s . 165

5.7. Four consecutive 1.25 ps-long expanded
records corresponding to the dE/dt
radiation of step leader pulses from event
24200301. Records start from the top.
The first record starts 12 ps before the
onset of the return stroke. The distance
to the flash was 1.8 km. 167

5.8. Electric field and dE/dt record corresponding
to chaotic leader activity from event
24200266. The distance to the flash was 1.5 km. The duration.of the record is 80 gs. The onset of the return stroke is at
t=41 ps . 168


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5.9. Electric field and dE/dt record corresponding
to chaotic leaders from event 24200106.
The distance to the flash was 500 m. The
duration of the record is 80 gs. The onset
of the return stroke is at t=39 ps. 170

5.10. Electric field and dE/dt record corresponding
to chaotic leaders from event 24200147.
The distance to the flash was 300 m. The
duration of the record is 80 ps. The onset
of the return stroke is at t=41 ps. 171

5.11. Four consecutive 1.25 ps-long expanded
records corresponding to the dE/dt
radiation of the chaotic leaders from event
24200147. Records start from the top.
The distance to the flash was 300 m . 172

5.12. Electric field and dE/dt record corresponding
to the chaotic leaders from event 24200260.
The distance to the flash was 300 m. The
duration of the record is 80 ps. The onset
of the return stroke is at t=64 ps . 174

5.13. Electric field and dE/dt record corresponding
to the continuous noise of event 24200148.
The distance to the flash was 150 m. The
duration of the record is 80 ps. The onset
of the return stroke is at t=48 ps. 175

5.14. Four consecutive 1.25 ps-long expanded
records corresponding to the dE/dt
radiation of event 24200148. Records start from the top. The first record starts 3.3 ps before the onset of the
return stroke. The distance to the flash
was 150 m . 176

5.15. Electric field and dE/dt record corresponding
to the continuous noise of event 24200181.
The distance to the flash was 50 m. The
duration of the record is 80 ps. The onset
of the return stroke is at t=61 ps. 178

5.16. Electric field and dE/dt record corresponding
to subsequent stroke 24200152. The
distance to the flash was 2.9 km. The
duration of the record is 80 ps. The onset
of the return stroke is at t=40 ps. 180

5.17. Electric field and dE/dt record corresponding
to subsequent stroke 24200160. The


xviii









distance to the flash was 3.1 km. The
duration of the record is 80 gs. The onset
of the return stroke is at t=40 ps . 181

5.18. Electric field and dE/dt record corresponding
to subsequent stroke 24200171. The
distance to the flash was 2.4 km. The
duration of the record is 80 ps. The onset
of the return stroke is at t=40 ps . 182

5.19. Output of a digitally simulated envelope
detector receiver centered at 10 MHz with a
2 MHz bandwidth. The response is to an
excitation by return stroke 24200018.
Also shown is the corresponding wideband
dE/dt record. The onset of the return
stroke is at t=30 ps . 185

5.20. Output of a digitally simulated envelope
detector receiver centered at 10 MHz with a
2 MHz bandwidth. The response is to an
excitation by stepped leaders from flash
24200149. Also shown is the corresponding
wideband dE/dt record. 186

5.21. Output of a digitally simulated envelope
detector receiver centered at 10 MHz with a 2 MHz bandwidth. The response is to an excitation by the chaotic leader activity
preceding flash 24200260. The onset of the return stroke is at t=54 Ms. Also
shown is the corresponding wideband dE/dt
record . 187

5.22. Output of a digitally simulated envelope
detector receiver centered at 10 MHz with a 2 MHz bandwidth. The response is to an excitation by the continuous oscillations
preceding flash 24200148. The onset of the
return stroke is at t=39 gs. Also shown
is the corresponding wideband dE/dt record. 189

5.23. Average energy at the output of 2-MHz wide
receivers centered at 10 and 12 MHz. The
output is a result of the excitation of
the receivers with cloud-to-ground dE/dt
radiation from flashes at distances
between 2.5 and 5 km. The return stroke
occurred at t=30 ps.�. 190

5.24 Average energy at the output of 2-MHz wide
receivers centered at 10 and 12 MHz. The


xix









output is a result of the excitation of
the receivers with cloud-to-ground dE/dt
radiation from flashes at distances
between 50 m and 2.5 km. The return
stroke occurred at t=30 ps. 191

5.25. Average energy at the output of 2-MHz wide
receivers centered at 6, 8, and 10 MHz.
The output is a result of the excitation
of the receivers with cloud-to-ground dE/dt radiation from flashes at distances between
50 m and 2.5 km. The energy 1.5 Ms before
and after the onset of the return stroke
was masked. The return stroke occurred at
t=30 ps. 194

5.26. Average energy at the output of 2-MHz wide
receivers centered at 6, 8, and 10 MHz.
The output is a result of the excitation
of the receivers with cloud-to-ground dE/dt radiation from flashes at distances between
2.5 and 5 km. The energy 1.5 ps before
and after the onset of the return stroke
was masked. The return stroke occurred at
t=30 ps. 195

5.27. Average energy at the output of 2-MHz wide
receivers centered at 6, 8, and 10 MHz.
The output is a result of the excitation
of the receivers with cloud-to-ground dE/dt radiation from flashes at distances between
5 and 7 km. The energy 1.5 ps before and
after the onset of the return stroke
was masked. The return stroke occurred at
t=30 s . 196

5.28. Average energy at the output of 2-MHz wide
receivers centered at 6, 8, and 10 MHz.
The output is a result of the excitation
of the receivers with cloud-to-ground dE/dt radiation from flashes at distances between
7 and 9 km. The energy 1.5 Ms before and
after the onset of the return stroke was
masked. The return stroke occurred at
t=30 ps. 197

6.1. Test signals used to test the digitally
simulated narrowband receivers. (a) Single
unit impulse, (b) a few random amplitude,
random location pulses, (c) several random
amplitude, random location pulses, (d)
random noise, (e) white Gaussian noise . 213









6.2. Fast Fourier transform of the test signal
shown in figure 6.1(a). 214

6.3. Frequency analysis performed on a test
waveform consisting of the single unit
impulse shown in figure 6.1(a). (a)
Amplitude spectra obtained by using 1-MHz
wide receivers, 1/BW normalization. (b)
Amplitude spectra obtained by using 1-MHz wide receivers, 1/BW�'5 normalization. (c) Amplitude spectra obtained by using 5-MHz
wide receivers, 1/BW normalization. (d)
Amplitude spectra obtained by using 5-MHz
wide receivers, 1/BWo'5 normalization. 215

6.4. Fast Fourier transform of the test signal
shown in figure 6.1(b) . 217

6.5. Frequency analysis performed on a test
waveform consisting of a few impulses as
shown in figure 6.1(b). (a) Amplitude
spectra obtained by using 1-MHz wide
receivers, 1/BW normalization. (b)
Amplitude spectra obtained by using 1-MHz wide receivers, I/BWo.5 normalization. (c) Amplitude spectra obtained by using 5-MHz
wide receivers, 1/BW normalization. (d)
Amplitude spectra obtained by using 5-MHz
wide receivers, 1/BWo.5 normalization. 218

6.6. Fast Fourier transform of the test signal
shown in figure 6.1 (c) . 219

6.7. Frequency analysis performed on a test
waveform consisting of several impulses as
shown in figure 6.1(c). (a) Amplitude
spectra obtained by using 1-MHz wide
receivers, 1/BW normalization. (b)
Amplitude spectra obtained by using 1-MHz wide receivers, 1/BWo.5 normalization. (c) Amplitude spectra obtained by using 5-MHz
wide receivers, 1/BW normalization. (d)
Amplitude spectra obtained by using 5-MHz
wide receivers, 1/BWo.5 normalization. 220

6.8. Fast Fourier transform of the test signal
shown in figure 6.1 (d) . 222

6.9. Frequency analysis performed on a test
waveform consisting of the random noise
shown in figure 6.1(d). (a) Amplitude


xxi









spectra obtained by using 1-MHz wide
receivers, 1/BW normalization. (b)
Amplitude spectra obtained by using 1-MHz wide receivers, 1/BWo.5 normalization. (c) Amplitude spectra obtained by using 5-MHz
wide receivers, 1/BW normalization. (d)
Amplitude spectra obtained by using 5-MHz
wide receivers, I/BWo.5 normalization. 223

6.10. Fast Fourier transform of the test signal
shown in figure 6.1 (e). 224

6.11. Frequency analysis performed on a test
waveform consisting of the Gaussian noise
shown in figure 6.1(e). (a) Amplitude
spectra obtained by using 1-MHz wide
receivers, 1/BW normalization. (b)
Amplitude spectra obtained by using 1-MHz wide receivers, 1/BW�'5 normalization. (c) Amplitude spectra obtained by using 5-MHz
wide receivers, 1/BW normalization. (d)
Amplitude spectra obtained by using 5-MHz
wide receivers, 1/BWo.5 normalization. 225

6.12. Fast Fourier transform of narrow bipolar
pulse 25900076. Also shown is the amplitude
spectrum of the background and digitizing
noise. 227

6.13. Fast Fourier transform of narrow bipolar
pulse 25900444. Also shown is the amplitude
spectrum of the background and digitizing
noise. 228

6.14. Fast Fourier transform of narrow bipolar
pulse 25900534. Also shown is the amplitude
spectrum of the background and digitizing
noise. 229

6.15. Fast Fourier transform of narrow bipolar
pulse 25900594. Also shown is the amplitude
spectrum of the background and digitizing
noise. 230

6.16. Fast Fourier transform of narrow bipolar
pulse 25900709. Also shown is the amplitude
spectrum of the background and digitizing
noise. 231

6.17. Amplitude spectra obtained by performing a
fast Fourier transform on the decimated-by-


xxii









four wideband record of event 25900076.


6.18. Amplitude spectra obtained by performing a
fast Fourier transform on the decimated-byfour wideband record of event 25900444 . 235

6.19. Amplitude spectra obtained by performing a
fast Fourier transform on the decimated-byfour wideband record of event 25900534. 236

6.20. Amplitude spectra obtained by performing a
fast Fourier transform on the decimated-byfour wideband record of event 25900594. 237

6.21. Amplitude spectra obtained by performing a
fast Fourier transform on the decimated-byfour wideband record of event 25900709. 238

6.22. Frequency analysis performed on event
25900076. (a) Amplitude spectra obtained
by using 1-MHz wide receivers, 1/BW normalization. (b) Amplitude spectra
obtained by using 1-MHz wide receivers,
I/BW5 normalization. (c) Amplitude spectra
obtained by using 5-MHz wide receivers,
1/BW normalization. (d) Amplitude spectra
obtained by using 5-MHz wide receivers,
1/BW-5 normalization. 239

6.23. Frequency analysis performed on event
25900444. (a) Amplitude spectra obtained
by using 1-MHz wide receivers, 1/BW normalization. (b) Amplitude spectra
obtained by using 1-MHz wide receivers,
I/BW35 normalization. (c) Amplitude spectra
obtained by using 5-MHz wide receivers,
1/BW normalization. (d) Amplitude spectra
obtained by using 5-MHz wide receivers,
I/BWO5 normalization. 240

6.24. Frequency analysis performed on event
25900534. (a) Amplitude spectra obtained
by using 1-MHz wide receivers, 1/BW normalization. (b) Amplitude spectra
obtained by using 1-MHz wide receivers,
I/BWo.5 normalization. (c) Amplitude spectra
obtained by using 5-MHz wide receivers,
1/BW normalization. (d) Amplitude spectra
obtained by using 5-MHz wide receivers,
1/BW�5 normalization . 241


xxiii


234









6.25. Frequency analysis performed on event
25900594. (a) Amplitude spectra obtained
by using 1-MHz wide receivers, 1/BW normalization. (b) Amplitude spectra
obtained by using 1-MHz wide receivers,
1/BWo5 normalization. (c) Amplitude spectra
obtained by using 5-MHz wide receivers,
1/BW normalization. (d) Amplitude spectra
obtained by using 5-MHz wide receivers,
I/BWo-5 normalization. 242

6.26. Frequency analysis performed on event
25900709. (a) Amplitude spectra obtained
by using 1-MHz wide receivers, 1/BW normalization. (b) Amplitude spectra
obtained by using 1-MHz wide receivers,
1/BWo.5 normalization. (c) Amplitude spectra
obtained by using 5-MHz wide receivers,
1/BW normalization. (d) Amplitude spectra
obtained by using 5-MHz wide receivers,
1/BWo-5 normalization. 243

6.27. Envelope obtained from the output of two
narrowband receivers. (a) 62 MHz receiver.
(b) 67 MHz receiver . 246

6.28. Amplitude spectrum of return stroke 24200018.
The distance to the flash was 5.5 km.
Also shown for comparison is the amplitude
spectrum of the background and digitizing
noise. 248

6.29. Amplitude spectrum of return stroke 24200026.
The distance to the flash was 5.0 km.
Also shown for comparison is the amplitude spectrum of the background and digitizing
noise. 249

6.30. Amplitude spectrum of return stroke 24200040.
The distance to the flash was 4.2 km.
Also shown for comparison is the amplitude spectrum of the background and digitizing
noise . 251

6.31. Amplitude spectrum of stepped leader activity
happening between 10 ps and 7.5 gs before
the onset of the return stroke of event 24200149. The distance to the flash was
7.5 km. . 252

6.32. Amplitude spectrum of stepped leader activity


xxiv









happening in the last 2.5 ps before the
onset of the return stroke of event
24200149. The distance to the flash was
7.5 km. 253

6.33. Amplitude spectrum of stepped leader activity
happening in the last 2.5 gs before the
onset of the return stroke of event
24200301. The distance to the flash was
1.8 km . 255

6.34. Amplitude spectrum of chaotic leader activity
happening between 10 As and 7.5 ps before
the onset of the return stroke of event 24200266. The distance to the flash was
1.5 km . 256

6.35. Amplitude spectrum of chaotic leader activity
happening between 7.5 As and 5 As before
the onset of the return stroke of event 24200266. The distance to the flash was
1.5 km. 257

6.36. Amplitude spectrum of chaotic leader activity
happening between 5 gs and 2.5 ps before the onset of the return stroke of event 24200266. The distance to the flash was
1.5 km. 258

6.37. Amplitude spectrum of chaotic leader activity
happening in the last 2.5 As before the
onset of the return stroke of event
24200266. The distance to the flash was
1.5 km. 259

6.38. Amplitude spectrum of chaotic leader activity
happening between 5 As and 2.5 As before the onset of the return stroke of event 24200147. The distance to the flash was
7.5 km. 260

6.39. Amplitude spectrum of the chaotic behavior
exhibited by event 24200147 prior to the
return stroke. Shown is the spectra of the
dE/dt radiation for five consecutive 8 As
long sections preceding the return
stroke, starting from the top. The
distance to the flash was 300m. 262

6.40. Amplitude spectrum of chaotic leader
activity happening between 10 ps and 7.5 gs
before the onset of the return stroke of


xxv









event 24200260. The distance to the flash
was 300 m . 263

6.41. Amplitude spectrum of chaotic leader
activity happening between 7.5 gs and 5 ps
before the onset of the return stroke of
event 24200260. The distance to the flash
was 300 m . 264

6.42. Amplitude spectrum of chaotic leader
activity happening between 5 gs and 2.5 gs
before the onset of the return stroke of
event 24200260. The distance to the flash
was 300 m . 265

6.43. Amplitude spectrum of chaotic leader
activity happening in the last 2.5 Ms
before the onset of the return stroke of
event 24200260. The distance to the flash
was 300 m . 266

6.44. Amplitude spectrum of chaotic leader
activity happening between 10 gs and
7.5 gs before the onset of the return
stroke of event 24200148. The distance to
the flash was 150 m . 268

6.45. Amplitude spectrum of chaotic leader
activity happening between 7.5 Ms and
5 Ms before the onset of the return stroke
of event 24200148. The distance to the
flash was 150 m . 269

6.46. Amplitude spectrum of chaotic leader
activity happening between 5 Ms and 2.5 ps
before the onset of the return stroke of
event 24200148. The distance to the
flash was 150 m . 270

6.47. Amplitude spectrum of chaotic leader
activity happening in the last 2.5 Ms
before the onset of the return stroke of
event 24200148. The distance to the
flash was 150 m . 271

6.48. Amplitude spectrum of chaotic leader
activity happening between 15 gs and
12.5 ps before the onset of the return
stroke of event 24200181. The distance to
the flash was 50 m . 274

6.49. Amplitude spectrum of chaotic leader


xxvi









activity happening between 12.5 Ms and
10 Ms before the onset of the return
stroke of event 24200181. The distance to
the flash was 50 m. 275

6.50. Amplitude spectrum of chaotic leader
activity happening between 10 Ms and 7.5 ps
before the onset of the return stroke of
event 24200181. The distance to the flash
was 50 m . 276

6.51. Amplitude spectrum of chaotic leader
activity happening between 7.5 ps and 5 gs
before the onset of the return stroke of
event 24200181. The distance to the flash
was 50 m . 277

6.52. Amplitude spectrum of chaotic leader
activity happening between 5 gs and 2.5 ps
before the onset of the return stroke of
event 24200181. The distance to the flash
was 50 m . 278

6.53. Amplitude spectrum of chaotic leader
activity happening in the last 2.5 ps
before the onset of the return stroke of
event 24200181. The distance to the flash
was 50 m. 279

6.54. Amplitude spectrum of subsequent stroke
24200152. The distance to the flash was 2.9 km. Also shown for comparison is the amplitude spectrum of the background and
digitizing noise. 283

7.1 Field strength vs. distance for a 300 MHz
signal and for different antenna heights.
Propagation is over soil with conductivity
of 0.01 mhos/m. (Adapted from Reed and
Russell, 1964) . 288

7.2 Field strength vs. distance for a 300 MHz
signal and for different antenna heights.
Propagation is over sea water with
conductivity of 5 mhos/m. (Adapted from
Reed and Russell, 1964) . 289

7.3 Amplitude spectrum of narrow bipolar pulse
25900076. The spectrum is normalized to
50 km. The dotted line represents the
spectra of bipolar pulse reported by
Willett et al. (1989). 292


xxvii









7.4 Amplitude spectrum of stepped leaders from
record 24200149. The noise level was
reached at 34 MHz. The spectrum has been
normalized to 50 km. The dotted line
represents the spectra reported by
Weidman et al. (1981). The dashed line
represents the spectra presented by
Weidman and Krider (1986). 309

7.5 Amplitude spectrum of the chaotic leaders
corresponding to event 24200106. The noise
level was reached at 42 MHz. The
amplitude spectrum is normalized to a
distance of 50 km. The dotted line represents the spectra reported by
Willett et al. (1990) . 311

7.6 Amplitude spectrum of first return strokes
24200018 and 24200026. The noise level was reached at 15 MHz. The spectra are
normalized to 50 km. The dotted line
represents the spectrum reported by
Willett et al. (1990). The dashed line
represents the spectra presented by
Weidman et al. (1981) . 313

7.7 Amplitude spectra of subsequent strokes
24200160 and 24200171, normalized to 50
km. The noise level was reached at 18 MHz.
The dotted line represents the spectra
reported by Willett et al. (1990) . 315

7.8 Ground-wave field strength plotted against
distance. Computed for 1.6 MHz.
Dielectric constant = 15. Groundconductivity values are in millimhos/m.
(Adapted from Rempley et al., 1991). 318

7.9 Strength of ground wave as a function of
distance, frequency, and soil conductivity.
(Adapted from Terman, 1955) . 319

7.10 Amplitude spectrum of narrow bipolar pulse
25900076. The spectrum is normalized to
50 km. The dotted line represents the
spectrum of the return stroke 24200018. 322


xxviii















Abstract of Dissertation presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy TIME AND FREQUENCY DOMAIN ANALYSIS OF THUNDERSTORMASSOCIATED NARROW BIPOLAR ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSES
AND CLOUD-TO-GROUND LIGHTNING FIELDS By

Pedro Javier Medelius

May 1993

Chairman: Ewen M. Thomson
Cochairman: Martin A. Uman
Major Department: Electrical Engineering

Single-station electric field (E) and electric field derivative (dE/dt) waveforms were recorded at digitization rates up to 400 MS/s during 1989 and 1990 at the Kennedy Space Center. Narrow bipolar pulses (NBP's) were found to occur separate from typical lightning events, but to be thunderstorm related. Frequency spectra for E obtained from NBP's dropped at a rate of close to 1/f up to 125 MHz. In comparison, the frequency spectra reported by Willett et al. (1989) for similar pulses dropped as 1/f up to about 20 MHz and became flat afterwards up to their 50 MHz Nyquist frequency. NBP's contained higher energy than return strokes above 10-20 MHz. NBP Spectra found from the output of digitally simulated narrowband receivers tended to underestimate the wideband


xxix









frequency spectra by as much as 10 dB, indicating that the spectra obtained using narrowband receivers are unreliable.

Initial E-field peaks of NBP's had a mean rise time of 1.38 Ms. Large positive dE/dt pulses had a mean half width of 7 ns, much shorter than the 49 ns reported by Willett et al. (1989).

The existence of a single process responsible for VHF radiation from lightning, such as that proposed by Labaune et al. (1990), was tested using deconvolution methods on the NBP waveforms. Our analysis failed to identify a single basic component in these pulses.

Electric fields from lightning strikes at distances within 1-2 km consistently exhibited a chaotic behavior during the stepped leader, whereas distant stepped leaders did not. This "chaos" ranged from pulses occurring at rates close to one pulse per gs to a continuous noise-like high frequency signal with frequency components extending beyond 120 MHz.

In agreement with other reports in the literature, we found that HF radiation following return strokes peaked 20-30 Ms after the onset of the return stroke, and persisted for several tens of microseconds after the peak. However, the short propagation path (less than 7.5 km) over salt water does not support the widely accepted hypothesis that the delayed peak arises as a result of propagation effects.


xxx














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION


For most of this century, researchers have tried to understand the physics of a lightning discharge. Only within the last two decades has the submicrosecond structure of the electromagnetic radiation from different lightning processes been studied, most often the return stroke in cloud-to-ground discharges. Recently, a new process which radiates more strongly than return strokes above 10 MHz, has been identified. (Willett et al, 1989, Le Vine, 1980). The high energy content of this process at HF and VHF frequencies could present a serious hazard to airborne vehicles, especially at frequencies approaching the resonant frequency of their metallic structure, typically in the tens of MHz range.

The primary focus of this dissertation is the nature of the bipolar electric field pulses previously identified by Le Vine (1980) and Willett et al. (1989). We have observed these pulses to occur separately from typical lightning, although they are related to thunderstorms. The frequency spectra reported by Willett et al. (1989) indicated that these narrow bipolar pulses were the strongest source of radiation above about 10 MHz. Since the data presented by Willett et al. (1989) were obtained from thunderstorms about 45 km away, and








2

recorded with sensors installed on the roof of their instrumentation van, it is possible that their data may have been affected by either propagation effects or measurement technique. A peculiar flatness above 20 MHz in their spectrum for NBP's, which extended up to their 50 MHz Nyquist frequency, motivated us to conduct similar measurements of wideband dE/dt radiation.

In addition, following ideas presented by Proctor (1971), we intended to build a VHF location system using narrowband receivers. Since dE/dt from NBP's had significant high frequency components, these signals could be used to study how the characteristics of narrowband receivers, such as their center frequency and bandwidth, influenced the VHF signal from the receiver. In this way we have been able to simulate the time-of-arrival system used by Proctor (1971). In particular, Proctor's concept of "radio diameter" with VHF sources that form at the speed of light is a phenomenon that needs further study.

The experiment we conducted in 1989 used flat plate sensors installed on the ground to measure dE/dt. We avoided placing the sensors on the roof of our instrumentation van to prevent an enhancement of the electric field measured by the flat plate sensors. By placing the sensors on the ground and using fiber optics for all signal transmissions, we also circumvented the possibility of having resonances on the metallic structure of the instrumentation van. The dE/dt








3

waveforms were digitized at a rate of 100 MS/s and did not have an antialiasing filter before the digitizer. Careful analysis of the dE/dt recordings revealed that some dE/dt pulses had rise and decay times as fast as 10 ns, thus suggesting the possibility that our data had been compromised by aliasing. Any frequency domain analysis using aliased data as an input would have provided erroneous results.

In 1990 we designed an experiment where the sampling was done at a rate of 400 MS/s, which was four times faster than our 1989 rate. In addition, an antialiasing filter was installed to remove signals at frequencies higher than 200 MHz. The sensors were located on a 16' by 16' metallic ground plane grounded at each corner and at the center of each side. The ground plane was built over a salt marsh located next to the Indian River, which contains salt water. The site was specifically chosen for its proximity to a good conducting terrain, as many of the previous measurements in the

literature appear to have been compromised as a result of propagation effects.

Reports of wideband recordings of electric fields or dE/dt waveforms from cloud-to-ground and intracloud lightning have been presented by several researchers (e.g., Weidman et al., 1981; Weidman and Krider, 1986; Willett et al., 1990). The published wideband spectra of all these processes extend only to 20 MHz, although sampling rates have been as high as 100 MS/s. The experiment we conducted in 1990 was intended to









4

improve and extend the frequency spectra obtained from wideband recordings to frequencies above 150 MHz. The

triggering of the system was designed so that waveforms with positive or negative polarities could trigger the digitizing system, so that both narrow bipolar pulses and cloud-to-ground discharges could be recorded. Waveforms with such a large frequency content could also be used for the digital

simulation of VHF receiver response. The setup of the

digitizing system, combined with the expectancy of obtaining data from overhead thunderstorms, resulted in an experiment which had the capability of recording dE/dt waveforms with minimal attenuation due to propagation effects. We could then compare the spectra obtained from such data with the published wideband spectra, allowing us to determine if the 20 MHz limit in the published spectra on narrow bipolar pulses is real.

This dissertation presents data recorded during 1989 and 1990 at the Kennedy Space Center. These data have been used to study different lightning parameters, both in the time and frequency domain.

A review of the pertinent literature is presented in Chapter 2. A description of the electronic sensing and processing equipment designed for the experiments, including the theory of operation, is presented in Chapter 3. Circuit diagrams of the critical compon�nts of the recording systems are also included in Chapter 3. Also presented in that









5

chapter is the procedure used for calibrating and testing the measuring system.

Chapter 4 presents time domain results of the characterization of narrow bipolar pulses, such as those described by Le Vine (1980) and Willett et al. (1989). Statistics are presented for the 50 MHz-bandwidth records obtained during the course of the 1989 experiment and for the 150 MHz-bandwidth records obtained in 1990. Our results show that the pulse widths of the dE/dt radiation produced by the narrow bipolar pulses are considerably shorter than previously reported by other researchers.

Using digital filtering techniques, five narrow pulses which were analyzed in detail were also used in the simulation of the outputs of narrowband, envelope detector receivers. The output of digitally simulated narrowband receivers with closely spaced center frequencies was compared on a microsecond and nanosecond scale. The accuracy in the

determination of the time of arrival using narrowband receivers in a TOA system was found to be dependant on the characteristics of the receivers used to sense the RF radiation.

Chapter 5 presents measurements of electric fields from leaders and return strokes produced by lightning strikes at distances ranging from a few tens of meters to about 9 km. Nanosecond scale features of the activity preceding the return stroke is presented for very close strikes. An analysis of









6

the occurrence of HF radiation before and after the onset of the return stroke is also presented. Lightning strikes at distances closer than 1 km exhibited large HF radiation before the start of the return stroke. HF radiation was also found to peak about 20-30 ps after the onset of the return stroke. Cloud-to-ground events which produced very high frequency radiation are also analyzed in Chapter 5.

The frequency content of the narrow bipolar pulses, leaders, and return strokes are presented in Chapter 6. The spectra of bipolar pulses were obtained by using various methods. Spectra were found by performing fast Fourier transforms (FFT) on the numerically integrated dE/dt waveforms. The frequency spectra were also estimated by digitally modelling narrowband receivers at different frequencies and using their output to obtain the spectra. Narrow bipolar pulse spectra found from the output of digitally simulated narrowband receivers tended to underestimate the wideband frequency spectra by as much as 10 dB, indicating that the spectra obtained using narrowband receivers are unreliable. A complete description of the methods of frequency domain analysis used in this dissertation is presented in the same chapter.

Narrow bipolar pulses,' recorded from thunderstorms about 10-20 km away, were found to contain higher frequency components than what had been previously reported in the literature. Their frequency spectra were measured up to 125









7

MHz, and were found to decay sometimes at a rate of close to 1/f, while the spectra reported by Willett et al. (1989) dropped as 1/f up to 20 MHz and became flat afterwards.

The frequency spectra were also calculated for stepped leaders, "chaotic leaders" and return strokes. Some of these events which occurred at distances closer than 1 km away were found to contain measurable energy at frequencies extending beyond 125 MHz before the start of the return stroke pulse. The high frequency signals usually ceased immediately after the return stroke.

Highlights of the results are discussed in Chapter 7. Our results are also compared with those obtained by other investigators. Additional research that should be conducted to further enhance the understanding of lightning processes is suggested in Chapter 8. Several experiments are proposed to attempt to answer additional questions about the physics of lightning and to expand further on the results presented in this dissertation.

Specific software programs were written to reduce and analyze the data presented in this dissertation. The Clanguage source codes of the main, nontrivial programs are presented in the Appendix.















CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW


2.1 Introduction

The main processes that occur during lightning discharges are described in this chapter. Cloud-to-ground and intracloud discharges which occur during thunderstorms are explained here. A description of different methods used to locate the sources of electromagnetic radiation produced by lightning is also included. This chapter also describes different methods that have been employed to estimate the frequency content of different lightning processes.



2.2 The Ground Flash

Lightning has been described as a transient, high current electric discharge whose path is generally kilometers in length (Uman, 1969; Uman, 1987). A cloud-to-ground flash is a complete lightning discharge which transfers charge between the cloud and the ground through a channel formed by the electrical breakdown of air. Analysis of the electric fields recorded at ground level suggests that a positive charge P (perhaps +40 C or more) is concentrated in the upper part of the cloud while a negative charge N (perhaps -40 C or more) concentrates in the lower part, and that a small pocket of









9

positive charge p (probably +10 C or less) forms at the cloud base (Uman, 1987). A typical discharge between cloud and ground starts in the cloud and eventually neutralizes tens of coulombs of negative cloud charge in about 0.5 s (Uman, 1987). A flash is composed of several partial discharges called strokes, each of which has a duration of a few milliseconds, separated by tens of milliseconds. Return strokes have been studied by several researchers and several models have been proposed to explain the return stroke currents and the associated electric field radiation (e.g., Lin et al., 1980).

The electric field change just before the first return stroke in a cloud-to-ground flash has a duration from a few milliseconds to a few hundred milliseconds (e.g., Beasley et al., 1982). The preliminary breakdown is defined as those discharge processes which lead directly to the initiation of the stepped leader. An in-cloud charge location technique, using eight ground-based electric field measuring stations, was used by Krehbiel et al. (1979). They concluded that the preliminary activity preceding stepped leaders consists of a succession of breakdown events, with considerable horizontal extent, one of which finally results in the launching of a stepped leader towards ground.

The stepped leader is described as stepped because it produces a step-like image on moving photographic film. Electric fields produced by stepped leaders preceding return strokes in lightning discharges to ground were studied by









10

Krider et al. (1977). They found that the amplitude of the leader pulses increases just prior to the return stroke, the largest usually being about 10% of the return stroke peak. The 10-90% risetimes of individual step waveforms were often less than 0.3 Ms. The amplitude and shapes of leader step waveforms suggested that the peak step current close to the ground is at least 2000-8000 Amperes and that the maximum rate of change of the current is about 6-24 kA/s. When an upward moving streamer and the downward moving stepped leader meet, a very luminous return stroke travels up the channel, neutralizing the charge deposited there by the leader. If more charge is available in the cloud, subsequent leader/return stroke combinations may follow the first stroke.

In recent years, there has been increasing evidence that the radiation fields produced by lightning contain large submicrosecond variations (e.g., Weidman, 1982; Willett et al, 1989). The field produced by a first return stroke usually begins with a slow initial front that rises to about 50% of the peak value in 2-8 gs. Subsequent return strokes have a front that rises to about 20% of the peak value in 0.5-1.0 ms. Lin et al. (1979) presented typical electric field waveforms from return strokes at different distances. The zero-crossing time of the electric field waveform is dependant on *the distance to the return stroke, since the initial peak of the return stroke is produced by the radiation field, while the electrostatic field dominates after a few tens of gs. Lin et









11

al. (1979) found zero-crossing times of 70 and 50 ps for return strokes at distances of 50 and 200 km respectively.

The return stroke takes about 100 Ms to travel from the ground to the cloud. Idone and Orville (1982) found that the average velocity of a first return stroke within about 1 km of ground is about 1 x 108 m/s. The subsequent return stroke mean velocity is about 1.2 x 108 m/s. The return stroke speed decreases with height.



2.3 Radiation Electric Fields from Intracloud Lightninq

Intracloud lightning flashes do not carry charge to the ground, but re-distribute it within the cloud. Several

thousand partial intracloud discharges can occur in a single flash. Research on electromagnetic radiation produced by intracloud lightning has been conducted and documented by several researchers. Krider et al. (1979) and Weidman and Krider (1979) recorded large-amplitude intracloud lightning pulses. They found that the shape of the pulses tends to be bipolar, superimposed with very fast unipolar pulses. They noted that large pulses can occur either as a precursor in a cloud-to-ground flash, or in the initial part of an isolated cloud discharge. The initial polarity of the pulses tended to be positive when they were pr�cursors of a cloud-to-ground discharge, and negative when they were a part of an intracloud discharge. Their e�ectric field antenna system had a 500 Hz









12

to 2 MHz bandwidth and electric fields were digitized at a 10 MS/s rate.

Le Vine (1980) identified bipolar pulses that produced strong HF radiation. He found that these pulses produced stronger RF radiation than return strokes. His pulses

consisted of an initial negative-going pulse (opposite polarity to that of a return stroke lowering negative charge) followed by a positive-going overshoot. The duration of the negative part was in the order of ten microseconds, while the total duration was 20 microseconds. These fast pulses

appeared to be relatively isolated and infrequent.

Cooray and Lundquist (1985) presented statistical data on pulses similar to those observed by Le Vine (1980). These pulses had a smooth rise to peak and a half-width of about ten microseconds and their initial polarity was opposite to that of return strokes that lower negative charge, that is, with the same initial polarity as the negative pulses reported by Krider et al. (1979) and Le Vine (1980). The total duration of the pulses was about 70 microseconds, longer than reported by Le Vine (1980). The mean risetime from zero to peak was in the order of 4 microseconds.

Bils et al. (1988) presented electric field cloud pulses recorded on analog magnetic tape with an upper 3 dB response of 500 kHz. Because of the reduced bandwidth, pulses shorter than a microsecond were significantly attenuated and distorted. Only negative-polarity pulses were reported.









13

Since the analog tape records were relatively noisy, only pulses 50% larger than the 4 V/m noise level of the tape recorder were analyzed. These pulses had a median 30-90% risetime of 1 microsecond with a half width of 2.7 microseconds. All the pulses were superimposed on a negative going field change and most (84%) occurred in the first third of the overall field change. Large cloud pulses of several microseconds width were observed to occur early in the field record and they appeared to be related to the initiation of the cloud discharge.

Willett et al. (1989) recorded 18 narrow bipolar pulses, with initial polarity opposite to that of a typical return stroke. They found that these pulses had an average full width at half maximum of about 2 microseconds, with the peak followed by a small overshoot. Their dE/dt records showed large amplitude, high frequency noise superimposed on the slower variation that could be expected from the shape of the E-field record. Their data were recorded using transient waveform recorders sampling at 100 MS/s and triggered by a HF receiver. The location of the thunderstorm cell was 45 km away from the recording station with propagation path over salt water.

Waveshapes of electromagnetic radiation produced by intracloud lightning have also been recorded using narrowband receivers. Weidman et al. (1985) presented waveshapes recorded at 60, 175 and 500 MHz using receivers with a 350 kHz









14

bandwidth. Intracloud lightning was recorded using dE/dt as a triggering source. Radiation was recorded on the 60 and 175 MHz receivers, while it was completely absent at 500 MHz. The radiation at 60 and 175 MHz was very similar, suggesting that both emissions were caused by the same discharge process.

Le Boulch et al. (1990) reported their measurements on different lightning processes. Intracloud flashes produced two types of pulses: trains of pulses similar to those produced by stepped leaders, and bursts of pulses.



2.4 Frequency Spectra

The overall spectrum of lightning discharges is comprised of the sum of different processes. Extensive research has been performed in the subject of frequency spectra. Measurements of the frequency spectrum of different lightning events have been conducted using two general approaches: 1) Wideband measurements of the electric and magnetic field, and 2) Narrowband HF, VHF and UHF measurements. The frequency spectra of the fields recorded using the wideband method have been obtained by Fourier analysis. Although this method has been used mainly for analysis of return strokes, frequency spectra for stepped leaders and cloud pulses have also been obtained. Narrowband measurements have not been directed at specific processes, mainly because the limited receiver bandwidth does not permit separating one process from another. Calculation of the frequency spectra using this method has









15

been done by assuming certain physical characteristics of the VHF radiation, such as considering it as a sequence of identical pulses with random amplitude and/or arrival time. The actual characteristics of the radiation from lightning make it very difficult to compare measurements obtained using narrowband receivers with different bandwidths. There have been discussions in the scientific literature on whether normalization of the frequency spectrum to a given bandwidth should be done by assuming a linear relationship with the receiver bandwidth, or a square root of the bandwidth relationship (e.g., Le Vine, 1987). If the impulses are well separated, the spectrum should be scaled linearly with bandwidth. However, if the received signals are noise like, scaling should be done with the square root of the bandwidth.

2.4.1 Narrowband Measurements

Direct measurements of the spectrum can be done by measuring the power at a particular frequency. The procedure is to use a receiver with a narrowband filter and measure the output power to estimate the power radiated at a particular frequency. The limited bandwidth results in a spectrum that is the average of different events in the flash.

Narrowband measurements of atmospheric noise were reported by Watt (1951). Measurements were done' with a

receiver with a 140 Hz bandwidth and centered at frequencies between 1 and 100 kHz. The receiver was centered at each frequency of interest for 7 to 12 minutes, as this period was









16

considered long enough to provide statistically constant data. The limited receiver bandwidth made it impossible to distinguish between radiation from leaders, return strokes, or form any other source. The frequency spectra obtained with these measurements presented an energy peak around 10 kHz.

Similar measurements were performed by Obayashi (1959). Two sets of radio receivers with a 600 Hz bandwidth were used. One of the receivers was set to sweep from 1 to 10 kHz, and the other from 5 to 100 kHz. The sweep frequency was set at 10 Hz. This was a major advantage over recording the electromagnetic radiation with a number of fixed or manually tuned receivers. It was found that the peak in the radiation occurred between 10 and 20 kHz.

Several researchers have reported studies on the very low frequency (VLF) spectra from thunderstorms several hundred kilometers away. Comparisons between theoretical and recorded waveforms have also been attempted. (Obayashi, 1959; Croom, 1964; Bradley and Horner, 1964; Maxwell, 1963; Hart, 1967; Himley, 1969).

Malan (1958) recorded simultaneously electric fields and narrowband radiation at different frequencies between 3 kHz and 10 MHz. Malan found that at 3 kHz, radiation was confined to return strokes. Up to 2 MHz, return strokes had the largest amplitude, while above i2 MHz other processes became progressively larger. The narrowband measurements were used for comparison of the amplitude of the radiation from









17

different lightning processes at a given frequency. Since the receivers were not absolutely calibrated, a frequency spectrum was not presented.

Horner and Bradley (1964) recorded lightning radiation at 6 kHz, 10 kHz, 45 kHz, 550 kHz and 11 MHz, all with a 250 Hz bandwidth. Receivers centered at 225 and 250 MHz were occasionally used. The resulting spectra were normalized to a power bandwidth of 250 Hz, assuming a direct proportionality of the spectra to the bandwidth for frequencies up to 45 kHz. Above 45 khz, the frequency spectrum was considered to be proportional to the square root of the bandwidth for purpose of normalization to 250 Hz. The frequency spectrum,

determined up to 450 MHz, was found to drop with the inverse of the frequency.

Radiation from lightning at 420 and 850 MHz with a 1.5 MHz bandwidth was simultaneously recorded along with electric fields by Brook and Kitagawa (1964). The data were obtained from thunderstorms 10 to 30 km away. They found that at those frequencies, stepped and dart leaders were always strong sources of radiation, while the radiation from return strokes was sometimes strong but most times weak or absent. Radiation produced by intracloud lightning was stronger than that of cloud-to-ground discharges. Brook and Kitagawa (1964) concluded that microwave radiation was generated by the formation of streamers. However, radiation from dart leaders was found to stop 50 to 150 gs before the return stroke.









18

Although no explanation for this occurrence was given, it is possible that the reason for the cessation of the radiation was high attenuation due to propagation losses.

In a survey of frequency spectra data compiled by Oetzel and Pierce (1967), indications were found that the amplitude spectrum is inversely proportional to frequency below 1 MHz, proportional to 1/f2 between 1 and 10 MHz, and proportional to 1/fI above 10 MHz. Oh (1969) compiled the spectral distribution of lightning radiation from 1 kHz to 10 GHz. The results obtained by different researchers were normalized to a 1 kHz receiver bandwidth using a linear relationship to bandwidth for bandwidth under 10 kHz, and a relationship with the square root of the bandwidth for bandwidth above 10 kHz. The 10 kHz crossover bandwidth was selected based on the approximate duration of a lightning impulse of 100 ps. Because of the many variables affecting individual spectrum measurements, such as bandwidth, distance to the flash, and receiving system configuration, normalized results from different investigators differ by as much as 40 dB. Oh (1969) concluded that from 1 kHz to 50 MHz the spectrum follows a 1/f curve, between 50 and 500 MHz the spectrum follows a curve between 1/f and 1/f52, and above 500 MHz it follows a 1/fs5 curve.

Shumpert et al. (1982) condtcted an experiment to measure the frequency spectra using narrowband receivers at 22.5 MHz, 225 MHz, and 2.25 GHz. Their results were compared to those









19

compiled by Oh (1969) and concluded that their measurements were consistent with those reported previously by Oh.

2.4.2 Wideband Measurements

Wideband measurements of radiation from lightning have evolved considerably over the years. Initially, electric field waveshapes were displayed on oscilloscopes and subsequently photographed on moving film. The photographed image was then manually digitized before it could be Fouriertransformed. With the advance of technology and the

availability of analog to digital converters, electric field waveforms started to be digitized in real time, thus greatly reducing the time necessary for analysis. The wideband method has the advantage that the waveshape of the signal recorded can be used to determine which process was actually recorded, therefore allowing the generation of specific frequency spectra for different lightning processes. Early reported wideband field measurements extended the frequency spectrum to a few tens of kilohertz, while recent wideband measurements extend up to several hundred megahertz.

Taylor and Jean (1959) recorded 33 cloud-to-ground waveforms from thunderstorms located between 150 and 600 kilometers away. The measurements were done with a system having a frequency response of 1 kHz to 100 kHz. Data were recorded by photographing an oscilloscope display triggered by the electric field. The location of lightning was determined by triangulation based on the direction of arrival at each









20

station of a 3-station network. The frequency spectrum was found by using Fourier transforms on the electric field waveforms, and was normalized to 1 km in proportion to the observation range. Results showed a peak in the spectral amplitude near 10 kHz, which was consistent with previous reports obtained using narrowband receivers.

Additional data recorded by Taylor (1978) included 69 lightning waveforms recorded during 1959. Again, the information was displayed on oscilloscopes and photographed on moving film. Fourier transforms were used to calculate the frequency spectrum, which was normalized to 1 km. The

recorded waveforms were categorized in different groups, based on their polarity and time characteristics. The peak spectral energy was found to occur around 5 kHz. At frequencies below the peak, the spectral amplitude was found to be proportional to the square root of the frequency, while for frequencies above the peak the spectral amplitude decreased as 1/f up to their maximum frequency response of 100 kHz.

Jones et al. (1967) recorded intracloud and cloud-toground lightning waveforms on an oscilloscope over a frequency range of 600 Hz to 250 kHz. The approach used to find the frequency spectrum was totally different from previous approaches. The approximate frequency of each waveform was obtained by counting the number of peaks in each 500 ps interval. They fodnid a peak of frequency components in the band between 100 and 200 kHz, with most of the energy









21

concentrated around 150 kHz. These results are inconsistent with results published by other researchers.

Serhan et al. (1980) analyzed electric fields from first and subsequent return strokes, and determined their frequency spectra by using FFT methods. Electric field waveforms were sampled at a rate of 1.424 MS/s, with each record being of 180 gsec duration. The FFT's were performed on the electric field records padded with zeros to generate a 512-point record. It was determined that for all distance ranges, the frequency spectra fell off as 1/f for frequencies between 5 and 100 kHz. At higher frequencies, the spectrum rolled faster as the range increased. However, these frequency spectra were determined on waveforms that were not windowed, and that for close distant flashes abruptly returned to zero after 180 psec. As pointed out by Preta et al. (1985), these close waveforms produced a frequency spectrum containing erroneous high frequency components introduced by the rapid return to zero of the electric field waveform. Preta et al. (1985) published new results and corrected the frequency spectra originally presented by Serhan et al. (1980). The frequency spectra reported by Preta et al. (1985) for waveforms in the range to 10 km were similar to those published by Serhan et al. (1980). For return strokes at distances of 50 and 200 km, the spectra obtained by Serhan et al. (1980) were up to 5 dB lower than those reported by Preta et al. (1985) above 200 kHz.









22

Frequency spectra from wideband electric field and dE/dt measurements extending beyond 20 MHz were presented by Weidman et al. (1981). Individual spectra were obtained for first return strokes, stepped leaders, and positive and negative intracloud flashes. The thunderstorms used to compute the spectra were located over salt water less than 50 km away, therefore the attenuation of the frequency components up to 10 MHz was considered minimal by the authors. Their results showed that the frequency spectrum for return strokes presents a 1/f dependence between 100 kHz and 2 MHz, a 1/f2 dependence from 2 MHz up to 10 MHz, and 1/f5 between 10 and 20 MHz. The behavior of the spectra of stepped leaders and intracloud lightning were essentially similar to that of return strokes.

A later paper by Weidman and Krider (1986) presented frequency spectra from lightning between 1 and 20 MHz. The spectra were derived from dE/dt waveforms from discharges occurring within 60 km over sea water. Data recorded on an oscilloscope were manually digitized, with the number of points depending on the complexity of the dE/dt waveform. Since the FFT algorithm required the samples to be evenly spaced, evenly spaced data were generated by linear interpolation between the manually digitized points. Although not addressed by the authors, linear interpolation can cause the introduction of aliasing components in the frequency spectrum. In contrast with the spectra presented by Weidman et al. (1981), the spectral amplitude for return strokes









23

decreased as 1/f between 1 and 6 MHz, and decreased as 1/f2 between 6 and 20 MHz. The spectra for intracloud pulses and stepped leaders were comparable and both of these spectra are 5 to 10 dB below the return stroke spectra between 1 and 20 MHz.

Willett et al. (1989) recorded wideband dE/dt waveforms of narrow bipolar pulses similar to those described by Le Vine (1980). The thunderstorm activity was about 45 km from the recording station and the propagation path was entirely over salt water. The dE/dt waveforms were digitized at a 100 MS/s rate, and anti-aliasing filters were not used. Computation of the power spectral density showed that these narrow pulses radiated more strongly than return strokes at frequencies between 10 and 50 MHz. The spectrum became flat at about 20 MHz, which could have been caused by the spectrum of dE/dt raising in proportion to frequency at and above the Nyquist frequency of 50 MHz.

Further results published by Willett et al. (1990) reported frequency spectra for first and subsequent return strokes; stepped, dart, and chaotic leaders, and characteristic cloud pulses. Results showed that return strokes are the strongest source of radiation during cloud-toground activity. The amplitude spectrum of return strokes decreased as 1/f up to 5 MHz ana as 1/f5 above 12 MHz.









24

2.5 Time-of-Arrival Systems

A number of researchers have used time-of-arrival (TOA) systems for locating lightning. A TOA system is based on using the difference of the time of arrival of a signal at different antennas to determine the location of the source of the radiation. The difference in the time of arrival of signals at two receiving sites determines a hyperbola on which the source must lie. The intersection of hyperbolas obtained from using several receivers at different sites determines the location of the source. Early time-of-arrival systems

operated in the VLF range and were mainly used to find the location of distant thunderstorms. Systems operating in the VHF range are used to find source locations within line-ofsight distances to the thunderstorms. This is due to the nature of VHF radiated signals which do not propagate through ionospheric reflections as VLF, LF, and HF signals do.

2.5.1 Lonq Baseline Time-of-Arrival Systems

A hyperbolic location system was proposed by Proctor (1971). This system was designed to provide 3-dimensional locations of VHF sources associated with lightning. The

position of the source was calculated from multiple hyperbolic curves determined by the difference in the time of arrival of the VHF radiation at different receiver locations. Five

logarithmic receivers operating' at 253 MHz were used in the system. This VHF frequency was selected because the coverage area is limited to line-of-sight distances. The signals from









25

all receivers were displayed on an oscilloscope and photographed by rotating drum cameras. The differences in time of arrival were obtained manually by comparing traces related to the same event. Processing a one-quarter of a second record took 8 man-months. Results obtained with these measurements showed that the noise radiated by return strokes is continuous for 100 to 200 gsec. Proctor (1971) noted that for high velocity processes, such as return strokes, the length of the records appears to be different. This pulse compression was similar to the Doppler effect. Radiation from stepped leaders started at a height of 3-5 km, and thereafter, radiation was emitted from points randomly scattered around that region. Rectangular groups of pulses varying in length from a few microseconds to about 100 Msec occurred during the first 250 psec following a return stroke.

Proctor (1981) published additional results obtained with the system described in Proctor (1971). The bandwidth of the system was such that the measurements in the time of arrival were obtained with RMS errors of 140 nsec. These errors meant an accuracy of a location in a horizontal plane was 25 m RMS, and in a vertical direction, 140 m RMS. This paper presented analysis of five cloud flashes, which were classified into two types according to their pulse rates. The first class emitted pulses at a rate of 1000 pulses eer second. These pulses were rectangular, lasted about 1 psec, and were in synchronism with pulses received at HF frequencies. The second class emitted









26

pulses at a rate of 105 pulses per second. These pulses were shorter in duration, .2 to .4 psec, and appeared to be unrelated to pulses received at other frequencies. Channel sizes of 300 meters were measured for the low rate pulses, while sizes of 60 meters were measured for the fast rate pulses. The VHF noise was concluded to originate at the tip of propagating streamers and to be associated with the initial ionization of the channel. Most cloud flashes were found to be mainly horizontal with streamers propagating away from a common origin.

The system used by Proctor (1971) and Proctor (1981) was improved and the results were published in Proctor (1983). This system operated at 355 MHz and the data from remote stations were transmitted to a central station by 6-MHz wide microwave channels. A laser-optical recorder provided a timing accuracy of 82 nsec RMS. Similar analysis of cloud-toground flashes was presented by Proctor et al. (1988). Stepped leaders and intracloud streamers were found to progress at an average speed of 1.6 x 106 m/s. The continuous trains of noise occurring between strokes extended at an average speed of 8.7 x 107 m/s. Most sources of continuous noise trains (98%) were found to extend vertically.

The data presented by Proctor et al. (1988) included locations of as many pulses per flash as possible. However, on a typical flash, they were able to locate one out of every 30 pulses. The number of locatable sources was mainly limited









27

because of the relatively small amplitude of pulses compared to the receiver noise.

A time-of-arrival system was installed at the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida. The original system, operated in 1974 and 1975, consisted of a central station and four remote stations. This system was referred to as the LDAR (Lightning Location and Ranging) system. The system was later improved by adding two additional stations which provided redundant locations and were used to test the accuracy and effectiveness of the TOA system. Locations were determined by obtaining the difference in the time of arrival of the largest pulse recorded at each station.

Rustan (1979) analyzed data recorded using the LDAR system described by Lennon (1975). These data were recorded using analog magnetic tape recorders with a bandwidth of 400 Hz to 1.5 MHz. Differences in the time of arrival were determined by using cross-correlation methods, where the peak of the cross-correlation function indicated the difference in the TOA. The results published by Rustan (1979) were disputed by other researchers (Hayenga and Warwick, 1981; Krehbiel et al., 1984). Krehbiel et al. (1984) suggested that timing errors in the order of several microseconds, incorrect identification of pulses at different stations, and biased search methods resulted in incorrect locations. As an example of discrepancies encountered by Krehbiel et al. (1984), we notice that Rustan (1979) found source locations uniformly









28

distributed up to an altitude of 16 km and higher, while Krehbiel et al. (1984) found the center of charge was concentrated between 6.5 and 8 km altitude. In discrepancy with these results, Rustan's locations were found to occur within a tilted vertical cylinder with a 2 km typical diameter. Hayenga and Warwick (1981) stated they did not find any VHF events occurring at high altitudes (9-15 km) such as those described by Rustan.

2.5.2 Short Baseline Time-of-Arrival Systems

Oetzel and Pierce (1969) outlined the principles of a technique to locate the sources of VHF signals generated by lightning discharges. This method was based on an "ultra short base line," two-station, time-of-arrival system. With the technology available at the time, their analysis showed that they could obtain a bearing accuracy between 1 to 8 degrees using a baseline 300 meters long. The resolution of a single station at a 20 km range was calculated to be better than 200 meters. A second station located at a distance greater than 50 km was suggested in order to obtain detailed measurements. The system described by Oetzel and Pierce (1969) was implemented and tested, and the results were reported by Cianos et al. (1972). The system used two

receivers initially spaced 300 meters and later 122 meters apart. These receivers operated'at 30 MHz with a 10 MHz bandwidth. Signals from the receivers were amplified and applied to a time interval counter with a 10 nsec resolution. Since









29

only two receivers were used to determine the angle of arrival, an ambiguity persists when determining the correct quadrant of arrival. Nevertheless, reported results were found to be in good agreement with optical observations.

A short baseline system using the technique proposed by Oetzel and Pierce (1969) was tested by Murty and MacClement (1973), who used receivers operating in the 82 to 88 MHz range and spaced 122 meters. A 10 nsec resolution time interval counter was used to measure the difference in the time of arrival of the signal at both stations. However, the

bandwidth of the receivers limited the accuracy of the measurements of the difference in the time of arrival to about 25 nsec. The locations obtained with this system showed good agreement with simultaneous radar observations. An improved short baseline TOA system was implemented by Taylor (1978). The system consisted of two stations separated by about 17.8 km. Each station measured the difference in the time of arrival by employing two pairs of receivers. These receivers responded over the 20 to 80 MHz range. One pair was

horizontally separated and the other was vertically separated, so that azimuth and elevation could be measured. Both

baselines were 13.74 meters long and differences in the time of arrival were measured with a 0.4 nsec resolution. The system was operated at the Kenn�dy Space Center during 1976. Analysis of the data permitted observation of the branching and structure of the lightning discharge. Most activity was









30

found to occur at a height of about 5 to 6 km, and the discharge centers moved at speeds of about 50-150 km/s. Additional measurements were taken using the same system in 1980. The results of those measurements are reported in Taylor et al. (1984). They reported that small intracloud flashes produced VHF radiation over the main region of a thunderstorm at an altitude of at least 16 km. Major

intracloud flashes, defined as those with 30 or more VHF pulses, were found to have a concentration of activity at an altitude of 4 to 6 km, while small intracloud flashes had their activity concentrated at an altitude of 11 to 13 km. No temporal association was found between major and minor flashes.



2.6 Interferometric Systems

Locations of the source where lightning radiations are originated can be obtained by using systems based on interferometric measurements. An interferometer system is based on the measurement of the phase difference of an incident wave upon two receiving antennas. Warwick et al. (1979) presented a technique for an interferometer where the antenna outputs were mixed with local oscillator signals coherently offset by a frequency fo. This way, the interference pattern creates a sinusoidal modulation of the output signal. The phase of this sinusoidal waveform as compared to the phase of a calibration source determines the








31

angle of incidence of the VHF wave. This technique could provide continuous positions at microsecond intervals during long emissions (> 100 gs). The receivers were operated in the 32 to 36 MHz range. Using this system, they concluded that the fast (up to 1.7 x 107) VHF speeds suggested that the VHF source was associated with current flow along a previously conductive channel, where the carriers of this current could be the free electrons created by the breakdown process.

Hayenga and Warwick (1981) presented data recorded using the system described by Warwick et al. (1979). A perpendicular base line and a phase reference were added to the original system to determine the actual direction of arrival (azimuth and elevation). They presented the analysis conducted on several lightning processes observed with the interferometer, and found that the speeds of these processes covered three orders of magnitude, from about 1.7 x 105 m/s for horizontal channels to 2 x 108 m/s for short bursts of radiation. They concluded that the fundamental source of the VHF radiation was the acceleration of electrons in the high electric field present at the tip of propagating breakdown streamers.

A different interferometric technique was presented by Richard and Auffray (1985). In their system, the useful information is the phase difference of the incident wave upon both antennas, and'is independent of the signal nature and amplitude. Two-dimensional locations can be obtained with a








32

three-antenna system. Their analysis on the operation of the system regarding the point-source hypothesis showed that for a uniform source with a diameter smaller than the distance between ambiguities, the interferometer will give the mean location of the source. Detailed analysis was also performed on the error due to coupling between receiving antennas and the sphericity of the incident wave. Their system operated at 300 MHz, and consisted of a small system with a one-meter baseline, and a long system with a ten-meter baseline. It was observed that at 300 MHz, the signals are highly impulsive, and occur between one thousand and ten thousand times per lightning flash. They suggested placing a second

interferometric system at a distance of about 10 km to provide three-dimensional locations.

Richard et al. (1986) presented data recorded with the 300 MHz interferometric system described by Richard and Auffray (1985). At this frequency, the VHF-UHF radiation appeared impulsive, either as low rate emissions (under 20 pulses/ms), or as bursts of pulses lasting from several hundred microseconds to a few milliseconds. The measurements were taken using a short baseline (0.5 or 1 m) and a long baseline(10 m) system. The small system gave a location with 3 ambiguities when D=1 m or without ambiguities when D=0.5 m. However, the precision of the smell system was low. The large system had good precision, but a large number of ambiguities (about 250). The time resolution of the system was 1.6 gs,








33

because of the 600 kHz-wide filter. This interferometric system gave only an angular representation of the lightning activity, and velocities could only be estimated by assuming the distance to the radiation source.

VHF radiation reported during intracloud activity by Richard et al. (1986) exhibited both kind of pulses. Low-rate radiation was observed during the first few hundred milliseconds, while longer pulse bursts were usually observed in the last few hundred milliseconds of the lightning discharge, with the located sources propagating at a speed of about 107 m/s over distances extending from a few kilometers to more than ten kilometers.

Helloco et al. (1987) described the method used to obtain three-dimensional images of the VHF-UHF sources, using the system described by Richard and Auffray (1985) and Richard et al. (1986). Two stations located 9 km apart, each comprised of two interferometric systems were used for the measurements. The three-dimensional locations were based on the correlation in time and space of measurements obtained at each interferometric station. The results showed that the sources of the VHF radiation were either point sources and scattered through the cloud, or paths several kilometers long. Propagation of the VHF sources at a speed of 2 x 107 m/s was measured for intracloud lightning. Faster propagation speeds, up to 1 x 10s m/s, Were measured for return strokes.














CHAPTER 3
EXPERIMENT


Measurements were conducted at the Kennedy Space Center during the thunderstorm seasons of 1989 and 1990. The 1989 experiment included measurements of electric fields, electric field derivatives and VHF radiation at two different frequencies. The experiment conducted in 1990 consisted of measurements of electric fields and electric field derivatives. Both experiments, along with the electronics used for the measurements will be described in detail in this chapter. This section also describes the calibration of the electric field and the electric field derivative measurements.


3.1 The 1989 Experiment

The 1989 experiment was conducted during the summer and fall in the Space Shuttle Mate-Demate area at the Kennedy Space Center. Data were acquired from day 244 (Sept.1) through day 275 (Oct.2). The data presented in this dissertation were collected during September 23, 25 and 26 (days 266, 268 and 269 respectively). Table 3.1 summarizes the original record filenames, day where data were recorded, record size, and total number of flashes recorded during this experiment.















Table 3.1. Filename P8923617.257





P8925811.258 P8926011.260 P8926112.266 P8926621.266 P8926632.268 P8926821.268 P8926832.269 P8926922.275


Summary of the data collected during the experiment conducted in 1989.


Day


244 246 249 256 257 258 258 260 261 266 266 266 268 268 268 269 269 275


Record size Number of records
(points)

2,048 704
2,048 186
1,024 40
32,768 181
2,000 13

102,400 40
49,152 170

16,384 748

81,920 44
102,400 94

16,384 748

16,384 37
16,384 654

16,384 748

16,384 36
16,384 712

16,384 558
1,024 107








36

The recording and digitizing equipment were located inside a shielded truck stationed next to the mate-demate structure, and the antennas were located about 130 meters away. The measurement system consisted of an electronically integrated "slow decay" E-field sensor with a bandwidth of 3 Hz to 7 MHz, a "fast-decay" E-field sensor with a bandwidth of 16 kHz to 7 MHz, and a dE/dt sensor with a -6 dB upper frequency response of 150 MHz. VHF receivers, with a 10 MHz bandwidth, centered at 50 and 225 MHz were also used. All the remote electronics were placed inside a shielded enclosure and remotely controlled from the recording truck. The basic

recording configuration is shown in figure 3.1.

The antennas and remote instrumentation were connected to the recording station by means of wideband (60 Hz to 150 MHz) Nanofast analog fiber optics. Flat plate antennas were used as the E-field and dE/dt sensors, while quarter-wave ground plane antennas were utilized for the VHF measurements. Additionally, two flat plate antennas were also located on top of the truck. The outputs of these antennas were

electronically integrated by another set of integrators installed inside the truck. Since the gain of the electric field and dE/dt sensors is directly related to the area of the flat plate antennas, different size antennas were used to expand the dynamic range of the system.

The signals arriving at the recording station were digitized at a 100 MS/s rate using a 5-channel LeCroy TR-8818
























































Figure 3.1. Basic recording configuration of the 1989
experiment.








38

digitizer. We employed as trigger sources for the digitizer either one or a combination of: 1) the output of the 225 MHz receiver, 2) the electric field, and 3) the electric field derivative signal. The digitizers were operated with a 41 microsecond pretrigger. Each record contained 16,384 points, thus allowing for 163.84 microseconds of continuous digitized data. The digitized signals were transferred to a 80386-based computer through a GPIB bus at a rate close to 400 kB/s, allowing the system to be re-armed 200 milliseconds after a trigger. These data were temporarily stored on a hard disk. When the hard disk capacity was reached, the data were transferred to digital magnetic tapes for permanent storage. Analog data were also continuously recorded on FM and direct channels on a Honeywell i01 analog wideband magnetic tape recorder and on an electrostatic chart recorder.

3.1.1 Electric Field Integrators

The displacement current entering the flat plate sensors is proportional to the derivative of the electric field; thus, in order to obtain a signal proportional to the changes in the electric field, the input current needs to be integrated. This is accomplished by using a large bandwidth operational amplifier configured as an integrator. The circuit diagram of the electric field integrators used in this experiment is shown in figure 3.2. A detailed explanation of the operation of the integrators can be found in Medelius (1986) and Thomson et al. (1988).





































+12V PI
Ci
.1/250




INPUT
































Figure 3.2.


6 Ul ' R OUTPUT

7 VRL
28K RS
Ii 2CS 15
.1/2SV 47/25V -1

Di
IN4804 +12V


-12V


















Schematic diagram of the electric field integrators.








40

In order to allow measurements of signals with rise times of a fraction of a microsecond, we used a AD3554AM operational amplifier which has a high input impedance (1011 ohms), very high slew rate (1200 V/us), and a 1.7 GHz gain bandwidth product.

The gain of the integrators is inversely proportional to the value of the feedback capacitor, while the decay time constant is proportional to both the feedback capacitor and the feedback resistive network. Since we were interested mainly in high frequency variations, a decay time constant of 10 microseconds was selected for the "fast decay integrators." "Slow decay integrators" with a 50 ms decay time constant were also installed to allow measurements of larger but slower varying processes. Table 3.2 shows the feedback capacitance, resistors and decay time constant of the integrators used in this experiment.

3.1.2 VHF Receivers

VHF receivers centered at 50 and 225 MHz were used during the 1989 experiment. The -3 dB bandwidth of both receivers was 10 MHz. Since, based on existing literature, the strength of the VHF radiation produced by lightning was expected to be lower at 225 MHz than at 50 MHz, a 20 dB wideband preamplifier circuit tuned around 225 MHz was used to increase the signal strength in this band. The schematic diagram of the 50 MHz receiver is shown in figure 3.3.














Table 3.2. Characteristics of the integrators used in
the experiment conducted in 1989.


INTEGRATORS


Integrator Decay time Feedback cap. R, R2 R3

1 10 us 436 pF 0 493K

2 10 us 21 pF 0 21.3K

3 50 ms 17.5 pF 2.2M 2.2M 1.76K

4 50 ms 480 pF 326K 323K 1.02K


















D3
1N4804


RF INPUT















-12U


Schematic diagram of the 50 MHz receiver.


Figure 3.3.








43

The 50 MHz receiver circuit consisted of a preamplifier stage, using a MC1349P integrated circuit TV IF amplifier, followed by a detector stage and an external logarithmic amplifier. The preamplifier was tuned at a center frequency of 50 MHz. The detector stage included a MC1330P low-level video detector integrated circuit, which is a fully balanced multiplier detector with linear amplitude and phase characteristics. The frequency response of the receiver is shown in figure 3.4.

In order to measure radiation in the 225-MHz band, a down converter circuit was used to convert the input signal to the 50 MHz band. This circuit was based on the use of a local oscillator operating at 175 MHz feeding a mixer circuit as shown in figure 3.5. The signal at the output of the mixer was bandpass filtered to obtain a signal on the 40 to 60 MHz range, which was then applied to the input of the 50 MHz receiver described earlier. A preamplifier circuit with a nominal 20 dB gain was sometimes used to further increase the strength level of the 225 MHz radiation. Figure 3.6 shows the frequency response of the 225 MHz system.

3.1.3 Loqarithmic Amplifier

A logarithmic amplifier was sometimes connected at the output-of the VHF receivers. The amplifier was based on the use of a OEI 2920 integrated bipolar circuit, which has an 80 dB dynamic range anda frequency response extending from DC up to 20 MHz. Figure 3.7 shows the schematic diagram of the


























































Figure 3.4.


Frequency response of the 50 MHz receiver.



























Ground plane antenna


225 MHz output ta
filter 2-mpf 50 MHz receiver
215-235 MHz Pre-amplifie
A




Local
Oscillator
175 MHz





















Figure 3.5. Block diagram of the down converter stage
used to receive 225 MHz signals with the 50
MHz VHF receive�.



























































Figure 3.6.


Frequency response of the 225 MHz receiver.























SIGNAL
INPUT


LOG TPUT


-12 U


Figure 3.7. Schematic diagram of the logarithmic
amplifier used to measure narrowband VHF
signals.









48

amplifier. Input signals were applied to the input buffer amplifier through a highpass filter network. A third

operational amplifier provided automatic and continuous DC offset correction. The output stage was also highpass filtered and voltage limited to prevent damaging the analog fiber optic system to which the logarithmic amplifier circuit was connected. The frequency response of the logarithmic amplifier is shown in figure 3.8.

3.1.4 Remote Control

A remote control system was necessary to be able to remotely control and select the integrators and antennas at the field, as well as for disconnecting the external DC power during thunderstorm activity. A bidirectional microprocessorbased remote control system was designed for this purpose. The master control was designed to be able to control up to 256 different remotes, as well as to receive status

information from each remote. However, only one remote

station was utilized in this experiment. Up to eight

independent on/off commands could be transmitted to each remote control, while the remote controls could transmit four different status signals to the master control. The remote control acknowledged receipt of a command by automatically transmitting a predetermined tone sequence indicating receipt and execution of the command. The commands were sent over two pairs of cables and consisted of a sequence of DTMF tones similar to those used in touch tone telephones. An analog























































Figure 3.8.


Frequency response of the logarithmic amplifier.









50

opto-isolated interface between the cables and the remote control was used to prevent damage from high voltages generated by the coupling of strong electromagnetic fields on the cables used for the communication link.



3.2 The 1990 Experiment

The main emphasis of the 1990 experiment was on measuring very high frequency radiation. The experiment was conducted over a salt marsh with a conductivity of 2 mhos/m, close to the Indian River and next to the Kennedy Space Center. This location was chosen in order to minimize possible attenuation of high frequencies due to electromagnetic waves propagating over a poorly conducting ground. Electric field and electric field derivatives were simultaneously measured.

The digitizing equipment was essentially the same as the one used in 1989. The main difference was that four channels were used in an interlaced mode of operation. Each of the four channels was set to digitize at a 100 MS/s rate, thus providing an effective 400 MS/s rate. In order to have all digitizers operating at exactly the same frequency, the internal 100 MHz emitter-coupled-logic (ECL) oscillator of the first digitizer was used as the time base. This oscillator was buffered and applied to the other three digitizers through coaxial cables of different lengths, in such a way that the phase of their clocks was shifted 2.5 nanoseconds from one to another, as illustrated in figure 3.9. The four channels were






















Clock to digitizer 1 Clock to digitizer 2 Clock to digitizer 3 Clock to digitizer 4


Figure 3.9.


Block diagram of the clock circuitry used for the 400 MHz sampling with the Le-Croy digitizing equipment.









52

then multiplexed to generate a single interlaced waveform. This way, the resulting waveform was effectively sampled at a rate of 400 MS/s. Fine tuning of the relative timing of each channel was extremely important, since non-uniform sampling of a signal introduces errors in the digitization. This timing error manifests itself when a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) is performed on the signal, as frequency components are artificially introduced in the sampled data. Fine tuning was accomplished by digitizing a sine wave of a known frequency using the interlaced scheme and performing an FFT on it. The lengths of the signal cables connected to each channel were varied by half inch increments until the FFT of the sine wave showed no extraneous frequency components. The half inch increments on the length of the cable allowed the tuning of the effective aperture time of the digitizers to be better than a tenth of a nanosecond.

Since a trigger could happen at any time, any of the four digitizer channels could be the first one to sample the incoming signal. Therefore, four different combinations of interlaced signals were possible, only one of them being correct. Figure 3.10 shows the four interlaced combinations of a 10 MHz sinewave digitized at an effective rate of 400 MS/s with the 'system used in this experiment. In this

particular case, since the input signal is known, it is obvious that the correct waveform is the first one from the top. This can also be observed by looking at the
























Interlace 1 w 0.9994o .5996 - ------- -------- ---.-.----.---- ----- -- -----------*------.--.:. . -. . . . . .
0.1998 - - - - - -- - - -* - -- - -------- -- *- ]* -- -- --- ---- - --- -*-- -- ---
-0.1998 - - - * - -- -** -- - - - - -- ---- - -- - - --- - -- .-- - - -- --- - -- .E -0.5996--9 - " --' -- - ------ --0.9994
Ti e (usec) Interlace 2 0 0.99940 .5996 --.-. .-. . . . - . . .


-0.1998 .
-0.5996-.
-0.99946 05 . "1.5 .5
Tine (usec>


Interlace 3 m 0.99940.5996- ----.

ci
0.1998-
-0.1998- --0.996--.
-0.9994-,


U .:


1.5
Times iCse


2.5


Interlace 4 0 0.9994S-0.1998-*. .*.**.*.-. .*. . - - - -- *
-0.5996-.


-0.9994 I
-0.996 5 2.5
Time (usec)


Figure 3.10.


Four possible interlaced combinations of a sinewave recorded with the 400 MS/s system.


�n er a e
m
0.99940.5996.� 0.1998-0.1998 .
-0.5996 . i

OE -0.9994-i


^
























Interlace 1

w474.9538C380.0552-----.285. 1565-----g190.2579-----95.3592-"
LL .4
40.4606 60 4O o o 10 2bo
Frequency (MHz) Interlace 2 0 462.2523369 .8716-----.277.4909 ---C 185.1102-----.
. 92.7294- . "
0.3487 4 o �o i�o
Frequency (MHz)


W457.9322c366.4379- . .274.9436-----OE183.4493----S91.9549 -. .0.4606v-' I !I


80 120


rrequency nM.z ) Interlace 4 0W462.2406a369.8853----..277.5299- . C 185.1746-.92.8192-.
0.4639~- o lo o o
Frequency (MHz)


.ibU


ZUU


Figure 3.11. Fast Fourier transforms of the four
interlaced combinations of the waveforms
shown in figure 3.10.


- L


n A









55

corresponding FFT's, which are shown in figure 3.11. Only the FFT of the first combination shows a single line in the spectrum corresponding to the frequency of the sampled sinusoidal waveform. The other three combinations show extraneous frequency components, introduced by the incorrect interlacing.

However, when we look at an actual electric field derivative signal, deciding which interlaced waveform is correct is not obvious. This problem was solved by performing an FFT on every possible interlaced waveform combination. Since the frequency response of the digitizing system, which will be described later, decays very fast above 150 MHz, and is about 50 dB down at 200 MHz, frequency components at near 200 MHz should be at noise level. Only one of the interlaced combinations could produce a frequency spectrum such that the components at 200 MHz were small, while the other combinations would have large energy components at high frequencies due to the introduction of extraneous frequency components because of the incorrect interleaving. Hardware problems with the digitizing equipment introduced a random one to four point shift on the starting point of each record on each channel, and effectively caused the number of possible interlaced combinations to increase. Therefore, if none of the first four interlaced combinations produced an acceptable result, additional combinations, adding or subtracting up to four









56

points from the start of each record, were tested to obtain the correct interlacing.

The LeCroy amplifiers are designed and calibrated to drive a 50-ohm load. In the interlaced mode of operation, one amplifier was connected to four digitizers simultaneously, each of which had a nominal 50 ohm input impedance, thus presenting a 12.5 ohm effective load impedance. This reduced load impedance caused the nominal gain of the amplifier to be reduced to 0.405 of the nominal gain. This correction was taken into consideration in the calibration procedures. To minimize signal reflections caused by the mismatch in the impedances, cables shorter than 15 cm were used to connect the output of the amplifier to each of the digitizers.

In order to prevent aliasing problems, digitization has to be performed at a rate of at least twice the maximum frequency present in the analog signal. Aliasing is a

phenomenon where in effect a high frequency component of a signal takes on the identity of a lower frequency. The

sampling rate necessary to prevent aliasing is called the Nyquist rate, and the maximum frequency component that can be present in a signal without causing aliasing is called the Nyquist frequency. The Nyquist frequency is equal to one half of the sampling rate. Since we were digitizing at a 400 Ms/s rate, frequency components at and above 200 MHz had to be eliminated in order to prevent aliasing. A sharp rolloff multiple-pole filter was designed and built, as shown in




























WIDEBAND Lt LZ L3 L4 LS DC to 200 MHz
INPUT ucs OUTPUT
UCI Hc 2 IUC3 UC4 U OUTPUT























Figure 3.12. Schematic diagram of the sharp rolloff
lowpass filter used to prevent aliasing.


























































Figure 3.13.


Frequency response of the sharp rolloff lowpass filter shown in figure 3.12.









59

figure 3.12. Variable capacitors were used to fine tune the frequency response of the filter, which is shown in figure 3.13. Each individual L-C combination was tuned to a center frequency in the range of 195 to 250 MHz. The effect of the filter, along with the frequency response of the LeCroy amplifiers and the fiber optics system attenuated the

undesired frequency components at and above 200 MHz below the digitizing noise level. The frequency response of the complete 400 MHz dE/dt digitizing system, including the filter, is presented in figure 3.14.

Data were collected during days 239, 242 and 259. For the first two days, only dE/dt signals were digitized, since the fifth channel of the digitizer was not operational. On day 259, electric fields were digitized at a 100 MS/s rate along with the dE/dt signals digitized at a 400 MS/s rate. Analog magnetic tape records of the electric field sensor in the field, one of the electric field sensors on the truck, and thunder were also taken on this day. A 1-kHz IRIG B code was always recorded on one of the channels on the Honeywell recorder, in order to allow subsequent matching of analog records and digitized records. Slow code IRIG-B signals were also recorded on a Gould chart recorder, along with thunder and electric fields. Table 3.3 summarizes the data collected during this experiment. Data4 from days 242 and 259 are analyzed in this dissertation.























































Figure 3.14.


Frequency response of the complete 400 MS/s digitizing system, including the antialiasing filter.





























































Figure 3.15.


" /Ground rod


16'








Flat lote Flot pla.e 16'

O * Ground rod
0.2 m2 .057 MS








16'



Ground rod Ground rod








Schematic of the flat plate antennas and ground plane used for the wideband el.ectric field measurements conducted in 1990.















Table 3.3.


Summary of the data collected during the experiment conducted in 1990.


1990 DATA


Filename


P9022715.242 P9025911.259


Day


239 242 259


Record size (points)


16,384 16,384 16,384


Number of records


633 748









63

The sensors were placed about 80 meters from the truck where the recording instrumentation was located. A 16' by 16' metallic ground plane was built using wire mesh as shown in figure 3.15. Two flat plate antennas were placed in the center of the wire mesh ground plane. Several metallic stakes were driven into the marsh at different points and connected to the wire mesh to provide a low resistance connection to ground. Two Nanofast fiber optic sets similar to those used in the 1989 experiment were utilized to transmit the analog data from the sensors to the recording van. Power for the electronics in the field was provided by rechargeable batteries which were charged after each day of operation. All the electronics were placed inside a shielded and grounded metallic box to prevent pickup of electromagnetic interference.

The digitized data were transferred to a 80386 computer and stored on a 60 MB hard disk. Upon reaching the capacity of the hard disk, the data were transferred for permanent storage to optical write-once read-many (WORM) disks, which have proven to be more reliable than the digital magnetic tapes we have used in the past. Writing and verifying 60 MB of data to the optical disk resulted in about 25 minutes of down time.

Power for the electronics'and air conditioning in the recording truck was provided by two gasoline powered 15-kW generators. One of the generators was dedicated exclusively









64

for the electronics in order to isolate the A.C. power from transients caused by the air conditioning motors. The output of the generator used to power the electronics was regulated and provided 120 VAC constantly and independently of the load.

The same integrators as in 1989 were used to integrate the signals from the sensors installed on top of the truck. The integrator used in the field was modified to obtain a 2 ms time constant. A feedback capacitor with a nominal 620 pF capacitance was used to obtain the desired gain for the electric field measurements.



3.3 CALIBRATION

Several factors had to be taken into consideration during the conversion of raw data into the appropriate units. For the dE/dt measurements, the variables were: 1) the flat plate antenna effective area, 2) the input impedance of the fiber optic transmitter, 3) the gain of the optical system, and 4) the gain of the digitizing and recording system. The electric field measurements had an additional variable which was the gain of the electronic integrator.

3.3.1 dE/dt

The configuration of the dE/dt recording system is shown in figure 3.16. The system consists of a flat plate antenna connected directly to a fiber o�tic transmitter with an input impedance of 50 ohms. Variations in the electric field intensity induces a displacement current on the flat plate






















































Figure 3.16.


Configuration of the dE/dt recording system used in the experiment conducted in 1990.









66

antenna. The voltage at the input of the fiber optic transmitter is given by the displacement current multiplied by the 50 ohm input impedance of the transmitter. The

displacement current is given by: dE
i =eoA dE

The voltage at the input of the transmitter is then: dE
Vi = R eoA dt

The gain of the fiber optic system is given by Gf. This factor includes the gain of the preamplifier and the attenuators. The preamplifiers had two selectable gains of 10 or 100 V/V, assuming a 50 ohm load on the fiber optic receiver. The attenuators could reduce the signal by factors of 2, 5, 10, or any combination of them.

The gain of the LeCroy amplifier is given by Ga, where:

5
Ga =K 5

and K is a correction factor for the nominal gain of the LeCroy amplifier. K is equal to 1.00 +/- 1% for the 1989 experiment, and it is equal to 0.405 +/- 0.2% for the 1990 experiment, as described in section 3.2. S is the sensitivity in VFSD of the amplifier.

The digitizers have a seidsitivity of 510 mV for full scale. Therefore, the count of the 8-bit digitizers (256 different levels) is:












dE 256
Count = RiAeo Gf Ga
dt .51



The electric field derivative can then be found by:


dE _ countx S x 0.51 [V/m/s]
dt RiAeoG.oKx 256x 0.5



3.3.2 Electric Field Integrators

The configuration used for the digitization of the electric field signals is similar to the configuration described earlier for the dE/dt sensor, with the only difference being the addition of the electronic integrator.

The displacement current induced on the flat plate antenna is integrated by the electronic integrator described earlier in this chapter. The voltage at the output of the integrator is given by:


V0= J sdt

where I, is the displacement current. So:


Aeo 0 dEdt
V' -C dt

The output of the integrator is applied to the input of the fiber optic transmitter through a resistive divider, which effectively reduces the output voltage by a factor of:












15//50 _ 11.54
15//50 +100 111.54

The digitizer count is then given by: Aeo 256 11.54
count = - Gr G.ox --- x E
C 0.51 111.54



The electric field can then be found by using the equation:


E=0.51x- x countxCx111.54 [Vm]
0.5 AeoG x 256 x11.54

3.3.3 1989 Experiment

Three different flat plate antennas were used during the course of the 1989 experiment. A flat plate antenna with an area of 0.1988 m2 was used for the dE/dt measurements. The fast electric field antenna had an area of 0.2035 m2, and the slow electric field antenna had an area of 0.0198 m2. The two antennas used for the electric field measurements were located on the roof of the instrumentation truck, while the dE/dt antenna was flush with the ground in the field. The larger flat plate antenna, used for the fast E-field records, was at a height of about 2 inches above the roof. The smaller

antenna, used for the slow E-field recording, was at a height of about 5 inches over the roof. Since the an'tennas were not located on the ground, the electric field was enhanced. A correction factor due to this inhancement was introduced in the gain calculations. The value of the enhancement factor was determined by comparing the numerically integrated dE/dt









69

waveforms with the electronically integrated fast and slow Efield waveforms. This factor was found to be 1.311 for the fast E-field antenna, and 1.58 for the Slow E-field antenna.

Using the equations derived in section 4.1.1, we obtain the electric field derivative as a function of the digitized count by using the following values: Area of Flat Plate Antenna: 0.1988 m2

Gain of the Fiber Optics system (Gg): 10 Input resistance R,: 50 ohms

Amplifier gain correction factor K: 1

The electric field derivative is then found by: dE
= 4.449 x count x S
dt

where S is the setting in volts-FSD (full scale deflection) of the Le Croy amplifier. The fast E-field was found by

replacing the following values in the equation derived on section 4.1.2:

Area of the Flat Plate Antenna: 0.2035 m2 Feedback capacitance C: 21.02 pF

The flat plate antenna was connected to the integrator and the digitizer channel by means of RG-58 coaxial cable. Since fiber optics were not used, the factor G, is equal to 1. The fast electric field, taking into consideration the enhancement factor due to the location of the flat plate antenna is then given by:












E = 0.266 x Sx count

The slow electric field was found in a similar way. The new variables were:

Area of the flat plate: 0.0198 m2

Feedback Capacitance: 17.52 pF

Again, since fiber optics were not used, the factor Gr is 1. The slow E-field is given by: E = 1.894 x S x count



3.3.4 1990 Experiment

The flat plate antenna used in the electric field measuring system had an effective area of 0.209 m2. The

feedback capacitor C of the electronic integrator had a nominal capacitance of 620 +/- 5% pF. Replacing these values on the equations derived earlier, we obtain:


E= 12.91xcountxS [V/m]
Gf

where S is the setting of the LeCroy amplifier in volts-FSD and Gfo is the gain of the fiber optic system.

The dE/dt measuring system used a flat plate antenna with an effective area of 0.057 m2. The actual dE/dt value is then given by:




Full Text
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