Research using Vaisala lightning data

Chris Vagasky
Meteorologist and Lightning Applications Manager
Weather & Environment

Scientific research leads to societal benefits. Many technologies developed to support the space program are now commonplace, including solar panels and the camera in your smartphone. Research into lightning detection even benefitted because of the space program, and development on the National Lightning Detection Network NLDN began in the 1980s. In the nearly 40-year history of NLDN, and almost 15-year history of the Global Lightning Dataset GLD360, has detected billions of in-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning events around the world. Vaisala’s lightning data is recognized globally as being of the highest quality.

Research using lightning data has improved our understanding of power outages, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, thunderstorms, tropical cyclones, human and animal safety, and more. Vaisala’s history is built on scientific curiosity, and we are happy to support research that uses our lightning data to further our understanding of the world around us.

In the last 14 years, we have supported at least 200 projects from scientists and students outside of Vaisala each year. As we wrap up Lightning Safety Awareness Week, we announce a change to improve the process for students and other scientists to request lightning data to support their research.

Beginning today, interested researchers can submit their data requests through this easy-to-use webform. Researchers submit their contact information and an abstract describing their proposed research and lightning data required, initiating a review process with our lightning data team. Approved research qualifies for lightning data at reduced or no cost.

If you have a project that could benefit from the addition of high-quality lightning data from anywhere in the world, don’t hesitate to submit your request!

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