NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Wallops Flight Facility to Use Earth Networks’ Total Lightning Data and Weather Visualization for Safety and Decision Making

  • Jan 28, 2013

Lightning Data and StreamerRT Weather Tracking Tool Will Support Launch Activities by Helping Wallops Personnel Continuously Monitor Lightning and Weather

Germantown, MD – January 28, 2013  – Earth Networks, the owner of WeatherBug and operator of the largest weather, lightning detection and climate observation networks, announces it will be delivering lightning data from its total lightning detection network to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Wallops Flight Facility (WFF). The data will aid Wallops personnel in decision making and will help ensure range safety during aircraft operations and rocket launches, including upcoming cargo missions to support the International Space Station. Located on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, Wallops is NASA’s principal facility for the management and implementation of suborbital research programs.

Data from Earth Networks Total Lightning Network will provide Wallops with detailed information on the location and intensity of both in-cloud (IC) and cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning in real time. In-cloud lightning comprises the vast majority of lightning activity in the atmosphere and often serves as a precursor to extreme weather conditions that include heavy rain and hail, high wind and gust fronts, dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning strikes and tornadoes. Total lightning data will be used to enhance situational awareness and provide severe weather warnings with increased lead times.The Earth Networks Total Lightning Network consists of hundreds of broadband, terrestrial weather sensors deployed worldwide and is the largest and most advanced network for monitoring in-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning.

“The ongoing integration of advanced technology within Wallops Flight Facility continues to be a priority,” says Mark Lamberson, Range Operations Manager, LJT & Associates, which holds the Range Operations Contract at the facility. “Having the best tools available enhances operational decision making and safeguards personnel and assets by ensuring range safety during launches and support operations. Access to total lightning data is expected to enable Wallops to deliver on its mission to support research, scientific missions and commercial launch activity.”

The news marks another major contract win for Earth Networks to support the federal government. The company announced in August its selection as the primary provider of total lightning data by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS). NOAA and NWS are using data in operations and in research to advance severe weather forecasting and warning applications.

The contract includes the use of Earth Networks’ StreamerRTSM weather visualization tool for monitoring lightning and severe weather in real time. StreamerRT is used across industries and all levels of government to track conditions at local, regional, national and international levels for critical decision making, and can be configured to provide numerous customized views from nearly 100 layers of weather information and severe weather alerts.

“Our agreement with LJT & Associates at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Wallops Flight Facility further demonstrates the importance of total lightning detection in aerospace and aviation,” says Earth Networks President and CEO Bob Marshall. “As a private company, we have made a considerable investment in deploying the largest and most sophisticated total lightning network on Earth today. By forming strong public-private partnerships with federal government agencies such as NOAA, NIST and now NASA, the public sector benefits from our technology and the data from our networks. We are delighted that other organizations, both in the U.S. and around the world, are choosing solutions from Earth Networks to meet their mission-critical needs.”

Visit to learn more about the Earth Networks Total Lightning Network.

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