Convective Induced Turbulence (CIT) Detection via Total Lightning Sensing

Period of Performance: 01/01/2013 - 12/31/2013


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

The Innovation Laboratory, Inc.
2360 SW Chelmsford Avenue
Portland, OR 97201
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


We proposes to build a prototype Convective-Induced Turbulence (CIT) hazard detection system based on total lightning sensing as an indicator of the location and severity of in-cloud CIT. Total lightning is the combination of cloud-to-ground and in-cloud lightning and has been shown to correlate well with storm dynamics. Total lightning activity will be measured globally at high temporal resolution from total lightning detectors onboard future geostationary satellites such as the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) on the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R-Series (GOES-R) and the Lightning Imager (LI) on the Meteosat third generation satellites. Thus, we seek to investigate the relationship between in-cloud convective turbulence and total lightning measurements, and determine the skill of total lightning as an indicator of in-cloud CIT. We investigate how to use proxies for GLM lightning data to enhance the diagnosis of hazardous turbulence over the Continental United States (CONUS) where verification data is readily available from ground-based (radar-based) systems. This system will enhance safety of flight for aircraft in the CONUS as well as oceanic and global airspace. Such a technology would be useful to all aircraft that fly, from General Aviation (GA) aircraft to Unmanned Air Systems (UASs) to business jets and commercial jets.