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‘Lightning Hunters’ animation shows spectacular storms on Earth | World News

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A series of animations from lightning measurements have been put together as part of the project, which it is hoped will give experts “additional confidence” in tracking future storms.


Monday, 03 July 2023 at 17:43, UK

Spectacular animations showing lightning storms around the planet have been combined with data from a new satellite project that will make it easier for forecasters to predict severe storms.

The European Meteorological Agency, Eumetsat and the European Space Agency (ESA) released the first animations using data captured by the Leonardo Lightning Imager, which was launched last December on the Meteosat Generation III satellite system over Africa.

Described by the European Space Agency as “Europe’s first lightning hunter”, the system’s cameras cover parts of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South America and can detect individual lightning bolts “faster than the blink of an eye”.

Guia Pastorini, the imager’s project manager, said: “The Lightning Imager has four cameras, each capable of capturing 1,000 images per second, and can detect individual lightning bolts faster than the blink of an eye, day or night.

“With the help of specific algorithms, the data is processed onboard to send only useful information to Earth, supporting the development of more accurate weather forecasts and aiding research Weather phenomenon and air transport safety.

“Leonardo, together with ESA and Eumetsat, coordinates an international industrial team that has been working on this remarkable technology for 10 years and today we are very proud to present images of the first European Lightning Hunter, the only one in the world with These images of Lightning Hunters. A unique performance.”

The animation of the storm was created using a series of images and raw data from lightning measurements captured over a one-minute period.

Data from the Flexible Combination Imager, another major Earth-observing instrument on the Meteosat satellite, will also be used to help forecasters and weather experts track future storms.

Eumetsat Director General Phil Evans said: “Severe storms are often preceded by sudden changes in lightning activity.

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“By observing these changes in activity, the lightning imager data will give weather forecasters more confidence in their predictions of severe storms.

“When this data is combined with high-resolution data from the Flexible Combination Imager, forecasters will be able to better track the development of severe storms and have longer time to prepare to warn authorities and communities.”

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