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A Modern Lightning Discharge Counter

William W. SeemullerWeather Bureau, ESSA, Silver Spring, Md.

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Ferdinand H. ZegelWeather Bureau, ESSA, Silver Spring, Md.

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Abstract

Design details and test results are given for a transistorized lightning discharge counter updating the Sullivan-Wells UF/FC-2C counter. Particular attention was given in the design to reliability and elimination of multiple counts.

The nature of the signal from a cloud-to-ground discharge induced on a ball antenna was determined. This result was used as the basis of the design of the counter. Tests were made to determine sensitivity, stability (as related to temperature and battery voltage fluctuation), susceptibility to stray counts, and susceptibility to multiple counts. Tests revealed that the transistorized counter is superior to the UF/FC-2C vacuum tube counter in all the above categories except temperature stability, where the vacuum tube counter is less sensitive to changes in ambient temperature. The counter is a device suitable for detecting storms outside the range of human observation, and for indicating relative storm activity within a specified radius.

Abstract

Design details and test results are given for a transistorized lightning discharge counter updating the Sullivan-Wells UF/FC-2C counter. Particular attention was given in the design to reliability and elimination of multiple counts.

The nature of the signal from a cloud-to-ground discharge induced on a ball antenna was determined. This result was used as the basis of the design of the counter. Tests were made to determine sensitivity, stability (as related to temperature and battery voltage fluctuation), susceptibility to stray counts, and susceptibility to multiple counts. Tests revealed that the transistorized counter is superior to the UF/FC-2C vacuum tube counter in all the above categories except temperature stability, where the vacuum tube counter is less sensitive to changes in ambient temperature. The counter is a device suitable for detecting storms outside the range of human observation, and for indicating relative storm activity within a specified radius.

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