Building an Advanced Lightning Sensor Network in Brazil

Brazil Brazil frequently experiences very intense thunderstorms, with lightning strikes concentrated in densely populated southern areas, including São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

The resulting floods can trigger lethal, unstopped mudslides. In January 2011, flooding and mudslides killed more than 900 and left thousands homeless. One year later, in January 2012, flooding claimed more than 250 lives.

Timely weather alerts are crucial in preventing future tragedies. The prevalence of lightning – which is often a precursor to severe weather events – and the need to better track and alert to major storms led to the deployment of BrasilDAT (Sistema Brasileiro de Detecção de Descargas Atmosféricas), the Brazilian Lightning Detection Network.

The BrasilDAT Total Lightning Network

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About BrasilDAT

Since 2010, Earth Networks has been engaged in a public-private partnership with Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE), the National Institute for Space Research, in Brazil. With partner Simtech, Earth Networks and INPE have deployed a dense network of total lightning sensors throughout Brazil — the Brazilian Total Lightning Network (BrasilDAT).

Earth Networks has been working with Dr. Osmar Pinto, Jr., Coordinator of INPE’s Atmospheric Electricity Group (ELAT), to significantly expand the BrasilDAT network throughout the country with additional sensors for detecting both cloud-to-ground and in-cloud lightning, known as total lightning. The vast majority of lightning is in-cloud, and high rates of it often precede extreme weather – making it a vital part of the severe weather monitoring and alerting process by enabling early warnings.

The BrasilDAT network covers over one-third of Brazil. Coverage provided by the network will continue to increase with the deployment of additional weather and lightning sensors.

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Earth Networks’ public-private partnership with Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE), is significantly expanding the Brazilian Total Lightning Network (BrasilDAT).

Surprise in Brazil!

Please read our Brazil Blog post to learn how lightning data from BrazilDAT provided advanced warnings of severe weather and lightning -- helping to protect people and property in Brazil.