Lightning Sensor Analyzer Map


Raw lightning data are received and processed by a sophisticated system. The lightning sensor is the key component of this complex system. The lightning waveform is detected through three antennae:

  • Flat plate electrical field
  • GPS receiver
  • Vertical orthogonal loop

As the waveform passes through the antennae, electrical currents are induced and channeled to the processing electronics. The waveform is then analyzed according to return stroke peak energy rise time and other criteria. Non-lightning waveforms such as radio transmissions are filtered out by this procedure.

When a valid lightning signal is detected, the station records its:

  • Exact time
  • Intensity
  • Number of return strokes
  • Polarity (negative or positive)
  • True bearing from the station are recorded

Dedicated communication lines to the CP7000 then transmit all the data.


The CP7000 processes the sensor data to determine lightning locations. It also continuously monitors the status of the sensors and provides synchronization between their internal clocks.

The CP7000 requires data from only two sensors to determine a specific flash location. The CP7000 can determine which of the system’s sensors have detected the same flash by comparing the time of the event recorded at each sensor.

The time coincident sensor data are then analyzed to determine the latitude/longitude of the flash. The CP7000 distributes the location data to the various display systems throughout the province.

Display System

The Forestry Division uses PC-based display software located at the Provincial Forest Fire Centre (PFFC) and at each of the forest headquarters. Fire managers can monitor current lightning activity in real time on the display, and they can print hard copy maps for use by aerial patrols.

Updated: Feb 25, 2004