Earth System Science Center and Department of Atmospheric Science at The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Maintenance on a lightning detector…

Jeff Burchfield, left, and Kelcy Brunner-Miller, a research assistant and a

graduate student in UAH’s Earth System Science Center, perform routine

maintenance on a lightning detector near French Mill in Limestone County to

insure that it is operating properly. Using such high-tech parts as a

stainless steel mixing bowl from Target, this sensor and six others

scattered across North Alabama sample the atmosphere’s electric field a

million times a second looking for disturbances caused by bolts of

lightning. Scientists and students in ESSC and atmospheric science use that

data to study the physics of lightning, such as the actual electrical charge

in a lightning strike.

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