WeatherBug Enters into Collaborative Lightning Research Agreement with the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) in Brazil

Germantown, Maryland, USA and São José dos Campos, Brazil – December 13, 2010 – WeatherBug® (www.weatherbug.com), the leading provider of consumer and professional weather products and services and operator of the largest weather observing and lightning network, today announced it has entered into a joint research and evaluation partnership with the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE), the National Institute for Space Research in Brazil. With the agreement, WeatherBug and INPE will collaborate on research to test the performance of a network of 12 WeatherBug Lightning Sensors in Brazil. As part of the effort, data from the sensors is being evaluated by INPE along with data collected from the existing Brazilian Lightning Detection Network (BrasilDAT).

For the research and analysis effort, WeatherBug lightning scientists are working closely with INPE experts to monitor and test lightning location, waveform, and other data gathered from the network. The WeatherBug Total Lightning Network, which consists of advanced lightning sensors deployed in many countries worldwide, is continuing to expand globally. Wider use and validation of the WeatherBug technology by leading members of the global research community will further aid in the development of this state-of-the-art network.

“Being the largest tropical country, Brazil experiences a great amount of lightning activity, with more than 50 million strikes each year,” said Dr. Osmar Pinto, Jr., Coordinator of the Atmospheric Electricity Group (ELAT) at INPE. “Many of these strikes are concentrated in densely populated regions in the south, including São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. We are constantly striving to ensure we utilize the newest and most advanced lightning detection technologies available. The research we are undertaking with WeatherBug is part of this important process to evaluate this new and promising detection technology and advance lightning science in general.”

“As the operator of one of the largest lightning detection networks in the world, INPE has long been a leader in researching, adopting and deploying advanced technology solutions,” said Stan Heckman, Senior Lightning Scientist, WeatherBug. “We are confident that our partnership with INPE, a world-renowned leader in lightning research, will yield a detailed and independently verified analysis of the performance of the WeatherBug Total Lightning System and that the performance will be favorable to other available technologies.”

By combining advanced lightning detection technologies with modern electronics, WeatherBug Lightning Sensors detect lightning pulses from 1Hz to 12MHz, a wide frequency range that enables the detection of both in-cloud (IC) and cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning on a continental scale. In-cloud lightning detection at high efficiencies enables the prediction of severe weather phenomena such as heavy rain, hail, high winds, tornadoes, downburst winds and damaging cloud-to-ground strikes. Each wideband sensor has computing power hundreds of times greater than what was available when earlier sensors were developed. Instead of using only the peak pulses, whole waveforms are used in locating the flashes and differentiating between IC and CG strokes. Whole waveforms of each flash are delivered to a central server to more accurately detect total lightning. Sophisticated digital signal processing technologies are employed to ensure high-quality detections and to eliminate false locations.

The WeatherBug Lightning Sensors are designed to be easy to deploy and maintain, which greatly reduces the overall lifecycle cost of a network. More information regarding Total Lightning Solutions from WeatherBug Professional can be found at: http://weather.weatherbug.com/weatherbug-professional/products/total-lightning-network.

About WeatherBug
WeatherBug (http://www.weatherbug.com and http://www.weatherbugprofessional.com precisely monitors, organizes and disseminates global weather information. As a trusted source for live, local dynamic data, WeatherBug empowers society with weather intelligence for making more informed decisions. Millions of consumers and professional organizations, including the National Weather Service, rely on WeatherBug to plan daily activities, safeguard lives and improve business operations. WeatherBug is a brand of AWS Convergence Technologies, Inc. (http://www.aws.com


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