World-wide lightning location using VLF propagation in the Earth-ionosphere waveguide

Richard L. Dowden*, Robert H. Holzworth, Craig J. Rodger, János Lichtenberger, Neil R. Thomson, Abraham R. Jacobson, Erin Lay, James B. Brundell, Thomas J. Lyons, Steven O'Keefe, Zen Kawasaki, Colin Price, Victor Prior, Pascal Ortéga, James Weinman, Yuri Mikhailov, Oscar Veliz, Xiush Qie, Gary Burns, Andrew CollierOsmar Pinto, Ricardo Diaz, Claudia Adamo, Earl R. Williams, Sushil Kumar, G. B. Raga, Jose M. Rosado, Eldo E. Avila, Mark A. Clilverd, Thomas Ulich, Peter Gorham, Thomas J.G. Shanahan, Thomas Osipowicz, Gregory Cook, Yang Zhao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Worldwide lightning location (WWLL) using only 30 lightning sensors has been successfully achieved by using only VLF propagation in the Earth-ionosphere waveguide (EIWG). Ground propagation or mixed "sky" and ground propagation is avoided by requiring evidence of Earth-ionosphere waveguide dispersion. A further requirement is that the lightning strike must be inside the perimeter defined by the lightning sensor sites detecting the stroke. Under these conditions, the time and the location of the stroke can be determined, along with the rms errors. Lightning strokes with errors exceeding 30 Ps or To assist with identifying impulses from the same lightning stroke, the lightning sensor threshold is automatically adjusted to allow an average detection rate of three per second. This largely limits detection to the strongest 4% of all lightning strokes, of which about 40% meet the accuracy requirements for time and location.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-60
Number of pages21
JournalIEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2008


  • Earth-ionosphere waveguide
  • VLF propagation


Dive into the research topics of 'World-wide lightning location using VLF propagation in the Earth-ionosphere waveguide'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this