Thunderstorm Detector BTD 300 - Observator has extensively tested the BTD lightning sensor

The weather

No topic is discussed more often.
It influences our lives in such a way that, for this daily recurring subject, a specialist is invited every night into every news studios and into our living rooms:
The weather!

And yes, that's logical. The weather does not only affect our social life but also our professional life.

The weather is also of special concern and involves risks in our professional life. For example, working with cranes you may need to consider heavy rain fall, poor visibility, high or low air temperatures, but also strong and gusty wind speeds. Many of these risks can be avoided or mitigated through the use of accurate weather forecasting. However, some weather conditions are so critical and unpredictable that local measurements are considered necessary and even mandatory.

Thunderstorms / Lightning

Thunderstorms are such a weather phenomenon that may heighten risk at work. Although the local presence of thunder can be predicted, the exact location cannot be so easily determined. Thunderstorms produce a variety of hazards such as flash flooding, hail, strong winds and lightning strikes.
Although the chance of winning the lottery is higher than being injured by lighting, world-wide over 1000 people still die every year of this naturally occurring phenomenon.

Local thunder storm measurements are highly desirable in many applications, including;

  • Working at high altitudes: high-rise buildings, wind farms, electricity masts
  • Working with flammable goods: loading offloading LNG, refueling airplanes
  • Locations with many attendees: cruise ships, airfields, festivals, sports games and events

BTD300 Thunderstorm Detector

Observator's long-term partner Biral, has developed a BTD sensor series for such measurements. This quasi-static sensor detects the presence of all forms of lightning up to a range of 83 km. The measurement of charged precipitation and atmospheric charge can also be a clear warning of an over-head lightning flash.

Testing BTD300 in coorperation with the Dutch Ministry of Defence

In cooperation with the Dutch Ministry of Defence Observator has extensively tested the BTD lightning sensor. Various hardware and software modifications were necessary to meet the requirements of both the Ministry and Observator. Stand-alone functionality (no internet required) was one such important requirement. This was achieved with the BTD series. There were also specific requirements for the ‘dash board’ display and the alarm handling software.

Software

In close consultation with the end user, Observator has adapted its OMC-Data-OnLine software to this end. Since there were no published performance standards that we had to meet, the settings of alarm distances, time intervals etc. are as flexible as possible within the software. This so called ‘lighting page’ option is now available within Observator’s integrated or stand-alone systems.