Author Topic: Full Blue +  (Read 485 times)

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Offline WeatherHost

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Full Blue +
« on: April 21, 2017, 11:08:53 AM »
Curiosity here ....


I don't build this kind of stuff any more, but I saw one of the Europa folks mention they would build them and ship.  I haven't seen any prices though.


With a TOA, is there any reason for (or against) considering a Blue?


I think I like this map better than the TOA GE Pro though.

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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Full Blue +
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2017, 11:58:13 AM »
There is no "building" on the newer BLUE systems, other than installing a handful of non-smd connectors and a couple of crystals, and, if chosen, the tiny, tiny, optional digital filters, which most folks simply don't need. They're simply for noise sources >30 kHz which may crop up, or for experimentation. We're mainly interested in the high energy band 3-30kHZ for strokes further than about 50 miles, and the higher freq components for closer strokes, which are best obtained from the E channel.  Most of the noise that causes us issues is in the 60HZ to 50kHz range, and those filters aren't for that... Also production is being considered, or actually ongoing, for a 'stripped down' version. Most of the 'old timers' here have 'built' their own H field antennas rather than using the offered ferrites from the project.  The E field Probe is simply an 8- 18cm wire, or soda can pull-tab  :lol: or whatever  :twisted:...
BT uses both TOA and TOGA for detecting and locating. No station 'stands alone'. In North America, currently, a MINIMUM of 8-12 stations must detect the impulse before the server will even begin to assume it was a 'stroke', with an additional backup of detectors (secondary) increasing the 'impulse' data received from up to 18 stations for confirmations. Then the 'best' 8 - 12 data is computed. So how that relates to your question, you'll have to determine...
BT receivers function as a network, and are DESIGNED to go into an interference mode in certain conditions, and stop sending data, as the network uses ALL stations for monitoring. So if you're expecting 'local operation', as in the 'so called' inexpensive lightning alert devices, surprise. The controller will flash and buzz at you, if you enable everything, but none of the 'lightning within 10 miles LEDs', etc.. that's not what BT is primarily about....
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 11:59:48 AM by Cutty Sark Sailor »

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Offline PaulMy

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Re: Full Blue +
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2017, 01:31:25 PM »
The Blitzortung Network was front and centre last night at our London CanWarn training by Environment Canada.  Geoff Coulson, Warning Preparedness Meteorologist Environment Canada said their meteorologists use the network for monitoring and help them in the Watch and Warnings notifications.  Unfortunately only 2 BO stations in Southwestern Ontario but all the other NA stations on the network do their job well!  And yesterday was a day and evening full of lightening around the Great Lakes region so a lot of activity for the 400 CanWarn members in attendance to see the BO network in action.  I was proud!!

Enjoy,
Paul

Offline WeatherHost

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Re: Full Blue +
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2017, 01:50:59 PM »
BT uses both TOA and TOGA for detecting and locating. No station 'stands alone'

So, is there any reason (or not) to consider a Blue?

General costs for Blue?

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Offline WeatherHost

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Re: Full Blue +
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2017, 11:12:45 AM »
OK, since there was no reply, I went digging.  I see basically 260+ Euros, or about $280 plus shipping, plus possible import duties.

http://de.blitzortung.org/Compendium/Orderlists/Orderlist_Blue_PCB_20_2.pdf


Not happenin' .

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Offline miraculon

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Re: Full Blue +
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2017, 02:51:40 PM »
The Blitzortung Network was front and centre last night at our London CanWarn training by Environment Canada.  Geoff Coulson, Warning Preparedness Meteorologist Environment Canada said their meteorologists use the network for monitoring and help them in the Watch and Warnings notifications.  Unfortunately only 2 BO stations in Southwestern Ontario but all the other NA stations on the network do their job well!  And yesterday was a day and evening full of lightening around the Great Lakes region so a lot of activity for the 400 CanWarn members in attendance to see the BO network in action.  I was proud!!

Enjoy,
Paul

Interesting. I see from this page that Canada uses a Vaisala based network called the Canadian Lightning Detection Network (CLDN), a part of the North American Lightning Detection Network (NALDN). I wonder why they are using Blitzortung. Is it to augment the CLDN?

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Offline WeatherHost

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Re: Full Blue +
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2017, 03:20:59 PM »
I wonder why they are using Blitzortung. Is it to augment the CLDN?

I can't really figure out what's going on and have been having trouble getting straight answers.  If Blitz is using TOA sensors as stated, how are they getting the data?  Some kind of agreement, paid or sharing?  If so, can TOA hosts become part of Blitz?  Or is that a violation of the agreements?


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Offline WeatherHost

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Re: Full Blue +
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2017, 03:23:59 PM »
Also, during some minor storms today, I had both sites open.  Strokes would appear on one, but not the other.  I'm not sure why if they're sharing data somehow. Also I wonder if one has their sensors set to a more sensitive threshold and if that makes them more or less accurate.

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Offline waysta

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Re: Full Blue +
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2017, 03:42:33 PM »
TOA generally means "time of arrival", a lightning detection technique.  Modern TOA methods generally use GPS with its atomic clocks to determine the time of each event to sub microsecond precision.

TOA Systems, Inc. uses the TOA method combined with their proprietary techniques in a commercial network USPLN within the The Weather Company (formerly WSI). 

Blitzortung added a TOA detection technique to their Blue detection system.  FROM Cutty Sark Sailor (thanks) This statement was Incorrect. "Blitzortung uses both TOA and TOGA [(time of group arrival)] algorithms in both BLUE and previous RED SYSTEMS, and has used GPS since it's inception with the original Green systems".  Blitzortung (for non-commercial use only) is separate and distinct from both TOA Systems, Inc. and Vaisala.

Yet another commercial solution is the Vaisala network (CLDN / NALDN), which is separate and distinct from both TOA systems, Inc, and Blitzortung.

This paper may be helpful: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwib5afP7LjTAhUF_4MKHct9AC4QFggiMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.atmo.arizona.edu%2Fstudents%2Fcourselinks%2Fspring08%2Fatmo336s1%2Fcourses%2Fspring09%2Fatmo589%2Flecture_notes%2Fcummins_lecture_refs%2FCummins_EMC2008_AprEdits.pdf&usg=AFQjCNFxsTC8Fa3DYg8OdIiAfK4RQb1x_A
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 05:53:57 PM by waysta »

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Full Blue +
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2017, 04:48:17 PM »

Blitzortung added a TOA detection technique to their Blue detection system. 

This statement is Incorrect. Blitzortung uses both TOA and TOGA algorithms in both BLUE and previous RED SYSTEMS, and has used GPS since it's inception with the original Green systems. Private algorithms determine when and what specific TOGA zero crossing computation is employed on a specific channel, and how many iterations of the predicated algorithm to use... typically a minimum of 4. Beyond 4 iterations does not typically improve location characteristics enough to be of value, in most cases, but they can certainly be computed and processed. NASA only uses 15 points of Pi for computing orbits.

Once a stroke has been presumed to have occurred, from any station, all station signals from all channels, are processed for 'best data / quality" and primary, secondary detectors are assigned for that impulse, and it's associated pulses and characteristics. Only the 'best' channel data will be used, other channel data discarded or archived for some interval. Blitzortung requires a minimum of 8-18 detecting stations for validation of data in North America. This will vary by environmental conditions. Earlier today I noted the conditional detectors at 8-17. Although a TOA network can define and roughly locate a stroke using a minimum of 4 detectors, Blitzortung requires a minimum of 8 in the Americas Region to define a stroke. World regions with lower station density may require fewer 'detector's... those are called "Primary" detectors, with the remaining, referred to as 'secondary'. All other stations detecting the impulse are referred to as 'also detecting' or 'detectors'. The channel data from primaries and secondaries is examined, best channels determined, then processed against time and TOGA algorithms.

If you go here http://sferics.us/ live signals from station 839 (Red) are being shown,(up to 5 data channels sent) at 1 second intervals (not all signals, just one every 1 seconds)... those 'hash marks' at the top of the signals represent TOGA Zero Crossings for each of the shown channels for that signal. That is displaying 'initial' processing by the servers, before final determination by further algorithms. Looking at the real-time 'last 60 second' map just below it, you may see that impulse plotted as a 'stroke' almost instantly... (delay was 1.2 seconds as I typed this... faster than the page is sampling the signals image above!)  This is what Blitzortung means when it referes to "Real Time"... although 1.2 seconds delay won't be called 'real time' by some luddites or nit pickers. During peak periods where detections may run higher than 20-30 thousand per hour, I've seen the delay exceed 8 seconds... but the nit pickers' will just have to live with it.

If you go to Lightningmap.org... there is a feature, which is not always active, and may vary, ... 'experimental' ,,, this is a pull down under the upper-left map controls displaying the 'time range' for the map display. While we don't always know what they're playing with there, most of the time it has to do with refining 'false positives' or 'polarity' or 'type' testing for future implementation.

As far as accuracy of location, I've personally gone out and spotted detected strikes within meters of where BT centered it's 'deviation error' circle. Others certainly within the computed 'deviation' circle.  Accuracy is best for C-G types.  Anvil Crawlers, other types may be miles long, never strike the ground, or may have traveled miles before actually grounding, so any system will have wider errors on types such as that.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 05:20:37 PM by Cutty Sark Sailor »

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Offline waysta

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Re: Full Blue +
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2017, 05:17:39 PM »
How does the TOA method compare to TOGA?  What are the differences?

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Full Blue +
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2017, 05:32:39 PM »
See my post just above yours....
TOA simply detects the 'discharge' pulse, at some trigger point, based on a time stamp and known delays in antennas and signal processing.
Each sferic  Impulse series has pre-charge, and trailing impulses preceeding and following 'discharge'... currently most TOGA systems compute a predicted 'series and timings' or expected 'zero crossings' in the trailing series, for that group of associated pules... hence the name "time of group arrival'. TOA system operating on Skywave reflections is more prone to deviation error than a TOGA system processing that same skywave. It's a skywave reflection if the stroke is further than about 50 miles or so from the detector, and not the original, clean discharge ground-wave from the stroke. The precharge steps could be used if all detectors were triggering on the initial discharge... that precharge series is available on BT, but only used, as I understand it, situationally in areas where enough stations are within the ground-wave reception distance. E channel is somewhat better at handling those because we like the higher frequencies that are present electrically on the nearer strokes.

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Offline waysta

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Re: Full Blue +
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2017, 05:44:46 PM »
Thanks! lots new to learn.  Also, been Googling a bit, from Rakov's Fundamentals of Lightning, "This [TOGA] method is based on the fact that lightning VLF signals (sferics) propagating in the Earth-ionosphere waveguide experience dispersion, in that the higher-frequency components arrive earlier than the lower-frequency components (e.g. Dowden, et. al. 2002)." (Rakov, 8.2.5, page 169).

The 2002 Dowden paper is online too (so all relatively new techniques): http://wwlln.net/publications/dowden.toga.article.pdf According to Dowden, "The TOGA of a sferic is that instant when the regression line of phase versus frequency over a specified band has zero slope".  That one is going to take a more careful reading of Dowden for me.

Apparently, there is yet another (independent?) network, the World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN) using TOGA.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 05:47:17 PM by waysta »

Offline PaulMy

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Re: Full Blue +
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2017, 05:50:21 PM »

Quote
Interesting. I see from this page that Canada uses a Vaisala based network called the Canadian Lightning Detection Network (CLDN), a part of the North American Lightning Detection Network (NALDN). I wonder why they are using Blitzortung. Is it to augment the CLDN?
Hopefully I haven't overstated Environment Canada's use of the Blitzortung.  Geoff didn't mention any other lightning detection system and the Blitzortung lightningmaps.org site was on display and Geoff demonstrated to the audience how it can be zoomed in and out to pinpoint a fairly accurate location of the shown strikes, but I took it that this was just another way the meteorologists were gathering information, so yes to augment their data collection.


Paul



Offline WeatherHost

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Re: Full Blue +
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2017, 05:55:56 PM »

Quote
Interesting. I see from this page that Canada uses a Vaisala based network called the Canadian Lightning Detection Network (CLDN), a part of the North American Lightning Detection Network (NALDN). I wonder why they are using Blitzortung. Is it to augment the CLDN?
Hopefully I haven't overstated Environment Canada's use of the Blitzortung.  Geoff didn't mention any other lightning detection system and the Blitzortung lightningmaps.org site was on display and Geoff demonstrated to the audience how it can be zoomed in and out to pinpoint a fairly accurate location of the shown strikes, but I took it that this was just another way the meteorologists were gathering information, so yes to augment their data collection.


Paul





This may also be because it was geared for the public and that site is free and open.  They may not be able to display or even discuss the proprietary systems.

And they may not say, here, you can use this, but it isn't what we use for official business.


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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Full Blue +
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2017, 06:29:04 PM »

Quote
Interesting. I see from this page that Canada uses a Vaisala based network called the Canadian Lightning Detection Network (CLDN), a part of the North American Lightning Detection Network (NALDN). I wonder why they are using Blitzortung. Is it to augment the CLDN?
Hopefully I haven't overstated Environment Canada's use of the Blitzortung.  Geoff didn't mention any other lightning detection system and the Blitzortung lightningmaps.org site was on display and Geoff demonstrated to the audience how it can be zoomed in and out to pinpoint a fairly accurate location of the shown strikes, but I took it that this was just another way the meteorologists were gathering information, so yes to augment their data collection.


Paul





This may also be because it was geared for the public and that site is free and open.  They may not be able to display or even discuss the proprietary systems.

And they may not say, here, you can use this, but it isn't what we use for official business.



That is correct. They can't unless talking totally off the record, from what I've been told. Blitzortung, for many reasons, legally and financially, must remain a "hobbyist' "Experimental" "Non-commercial" network.... no way do we have the dollars or Euros to go through that certification process, and no way will BT ever 'lock in' or prevent operators from experimenting with their system... therefore it would never achieve 'certification',... no matter how 'good' it is.

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