The challenges of extreme weather events
Asia accounts for the ‘lion’s share of disaster impacts’ including 332,000 deaths and 3.7 billion people affected. Every year it is estimated that lightning is responsible for USD $½ billion worth of damage worldwide. Climate change is seeing an escalation in the severity of extreme weather events that could significantly impact vulnerable communities, the business sectors and infrastructure assets in South East Asia.
Lightning is killing and injuring increasing numbers of people in Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. Cambodia has one of the highest rates in the world of deaths by lightning. Deaths jumped 42.6 percent year-to-year in 2015 with 107 people killed.
The MetraWeather ASEAN High-Resolution Lightning Network
The MetraWeather ASEAN High-Resolution Lightning Network (MAHLN) expands a pan-ASEAN network of sensors engineered by TOA Systems, Inc. TOA’s lightning location technology is proven in operational systems throughout the world. MAHLN sees the installation of many more sensors in those ASEAN countries where lightning strikes have significant consequences.
The network will provide an unmatched high-resolution lightning service providing high-quality real-time and archive lightning stroke data to customers in South East Asia.
TOA’s LPS-200 4th generation sensor and VHF daughter card now boast the broadest broadband range on offer with signal detection in the Very Low Frequency (1 kHz) up to Super High Frequency (1 GHz) ranges that ensure detection of the total range of cloud-to-ground and intracloud events.
This technology not only offers a total lightning capability, but also provides altitude information for intra-cloud events. It enables 3D visualisations of thunderstorms in real time. Detecting both types of events with associated 3D data provides a better picture of the storm activity and improved analysis of storm development and decay.
When time is of the essence, real-time streaming data is available via the Internet in (typically) less than 10 seconds from detection.
The advantages of MetraWeather’s lightning data is demonstrated by TOA Systems’ impressive and consistent technical metrics, including > 95% detection efficiency and < 250m location accuracy in key deployment areas, and delivery uptime greater than 99.99%.
Enhanced weather capability
MetraWeather and TOA Systems are committed to assisting ASEAN customers access lightning data whilst maintaining the highest level of integrity and confidentiality. The coverage area, format, pricing and licensing arrangements are designed to suit a diverse range of needs.
The network is designed to serve:
1. National Meteorological Services and Government agencies engaged in (non-commercial) public safety forecasting
2. Commercial organisations requiring data to mitigate the risks associated with lightning strikes:
- Energy utilities
- Offshore oil & gas operations
- Aviation and air traffic control
- Airports, rail services and maritime ports
- Forest firefighting
- Energy-reliant processing operations
- Army, naval and air force services
The Lightning Network offers a unique and competitive value proposition:
- No investment in an expensive network and
- No funding required for the ongoing maintenance, operation and upgrading of a network
- No requirement for support teams in the field
- No investment in vendor-specific software
Customers are assured of on-going access to up-to date and proven technologies, system upgrades, and a pan-ASEAN network operated by a provider with a proven track record in service delivery.
TOA released the 4th generation Low Power Sensor (LPS), with some key upgrades that will allow further improvements in lightning detection capabilities:
Enhanced frequency range to improve detection of cloud-to-ground strikes and unique altitude detection of intra-cloud strikes, allowing for 3D display and analysis of lightning events. An optional VHF daughter card enhances the sensor’s ability to pick up cloud-to-cloud events so crucial for aviation services.
A low-power, small form factor and ruggedized sensor that allows installation at solar powered and remote sites. Enhanced filtering algorithms to provide error ellipses and confidence intervals around ground strikes. New forecasting and tracking algorithms to take lightning from detection into real-time forecasting of storm movement and speed.
About MetraWeather Asia
MetraWeather is a specialist private weather guidance company with a strong footprint in South East Asia. The company is backed by the meteorological expertise of parent company MetService, a National Meteorological Service certified to provide public safety and aviation weather guidance.
About TOA Systems
TOA Systems is a preeminent manufacturer of integrated lightning detection and warning systems. TOA has now installed over 600 lightning location sensors in more than 50 countries. TOA sister company GPATS operates the Australian National Lightning Network used by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. MetraWeather is an accredited GPATS reseller.