Performance Evaluations of the European Lightning Location System EUCLID
European Conference on Severe Storms (ECSS), Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain, 2011
In 2001 several countries (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Norway and Slovenia) started a cooperation called EUCLID (EUropean Cooperation for LIghtning Detection). It is the goal of this cooperation to provide European wide lightning data with nearly homogeneous quality. Subsequently also Spain, Portugal, Finland and Sweden joined EUCLID. The EUCLID cooperation is special in the sense that the individual partners are highly motivated to run their individual networks with state-of-the-art lightning sensors. All the partners employ dedicated technicians to supervise and maintain the network and to react fast in case of sensor or communication problems. As of August 2011 the EUCLID network employs 142 sensors, 4 LPATS III, 13 LPATS IV, 1 SAFIR, 16 IMPACT, 42 IMPACT ES/ESP and 66 LS7000 sensors (oldest to newest), all operating over the same frequency range with individually-calibrated gains and sensitivities. Data from all of these sensors are processed in real-time using a single common central processor, which also produces daily performance analyses for each of the sensors. This assures that the resulting data are as consistent as possible throughout Europe. In fact, the Europe-wide data produced by EUCLID is frequently of higher quality than the data produced by individual country networks, due to the implicit redundancy produced by shared sensor information. Further, this cooperation also acts as a platform for exchange of knowledge related to lightning location technology. Since the beginning of the cooperation the performance of the EUCLID network has been steadily improved, e.g. with improved location algorithms, with newer sensor technology and by adapting sensor positions because of bad sites. Over the next 1-2 years, at least 15 of the older sensors are expected to be upgraded to the newest (LS700x) instruments.
To compare the estimated performance to real values several measurement campaigns were carried out in Europe, e.g. in Slovenia where LLS data was compared to data from GPS synchronized flash counters installed on mobile phone towers  – , in France where video surveys were used to determine the actual network performance of the French lightning location system . In the presentation detailed performance results from a comparison with direct lightning current measurements on a tower and from video and E-field measurements in Austria will be provided.
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