Sea Technology

AUG 2017

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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Page 38 of 76

38 st / August 2017 PulseRad provides the only source of national precipitation estimates. This changes the radar game, especially for areas of the world that lack the financial and technical resources to deploy, operate and maintain traditional radar. Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts The main benefit of a comprehensive total lightning network to marine applications is its ability to generate ad- vanced severe weather alerts by monitoring total lightning. A lot of companies can only monitor CG flashes, but that isn't enough to effectively forecast incoming severe weather. This is because CG flashes account for a minority of all light- ning strikes. In fact, IC flashes make up nearly 80 percent of all lightning discharges. Monitoring IC lightning is the best way to forecast severe weather not only because it makes up more lightning and provides better storm details but be- cause it is often a precursor to other dangerous conditions. As we know, lightning isn't the only weather phenomena that puts marine operations at risk. High winds can disrupt wind farms and disrupt power supply to oil rigs, heavy rains can flood marinas, and hail can damage renewable energy equipment like wind turbines. Earth Networks automatically issues Dangerous Thun- derstorm Alerts (DTAs) when the Total Lightning Network detects a high-frequency of in-cloud lightning, indicating an increased potential for severe weather. Through ENTLN, Earth Networks can detect high volumes of lightning strikes and preemptively notify users that are in the path of the storm, worldwide. The integration of the ENTLN to Earth vide different information than satellites and radar and are the most efficient way to track and monitor thunderstorms by providing advanced information that satellite and radar cannot, such as cell resolution, cell location and cell sever- ity. ENTLN delivers on these capabilities well beyond land- based sensors. Detection of total lightning is possible over 500 km beyond the coast and into the sea. This means that storms can be tracked and alerted on for most operations happening off the coast and well before they reach land. The network also detects lightning thousands of kilometers offshore (in the middle of the oceans) for survey-level light- ning monitoring. Estimated Precipitation Another way Earth Networks expands its detection area is by utilizing a tool called PulseRad. PulseRad is a radar alternative developed by Earth Networks that works in areas where traditional radar doesn't. This weather visualization tool allows organizations to see radar-like images indicating estimated precipitation in each storm. This solution is based solely on the lightning activity in that storm cell. While ra- dar is an invaluable tool in weather forecasting, alerting and research, the technology has many limitations, including range, potential for signal interference and high costs. PulseRad is an affordable substitute for radar. In regions where radar data are available, PusleRad is combined, along with rain gauges and satellite, to fill in certain gaps (e.g., mountains interfering with radar signals; storm activ- ity that is out of range for radar). This drastically improves the coverage and reliability of precipitation data over large areas. In regions without radar, Earth Networks' Sferic Maps tool, a Web-based monitoring, visualization and alerting platform, shows current weather conditions in one intuitive interface on your computer or mobile device. "Monitoring IC lightning is the best way to forecast severe weather not only because it makes up more lightning and provides better storm details but because it is often a precursor to other dangerous conditions."

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