The University of Arizona Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences

Wednesday | October 3, 2012

Summer Lightning Research

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During the summers of 2011 and 2012, Mason Quick, a graduate student in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences, and Prof. Emeritus E. Philip Krider and investigators from other universities, participated in a joint research campaign at the International Center for Lightning Research and Testing (ICLRT) near Gainesville, Florida. The ICLRT is located at Camp Blanding and is operated by the University of Florida. When thunderstorms were overhead, the research team triggered lightning using small rockets that were connected to ground with small copper wires. Quick measured the light output from triggered-lightning channels in the ultra-violet, visible, and infrared spectral regions using custom sensors that were calibrated at the UA Imaging Technology and Optical Detection Laboratories. This research will be combined with measurements made by other investigators to understand better how lightning is initiated, propagates, and attaches to objects on the ground.

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