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Title: Broadband RF Interferometric Mapping and Polarization (BIMAP) Observations of Lightning Discharges: Revealing New Physics Insights Into Breakdown Processes

Abstract

We report broadband radio frequency (RF) interferometry was first introduced in 1996 for lightning studies. The technique has since been improved significantly and has been increasingly widely used in the lightning community. In addition to the interferometry, we now introduce a broadband polarization capability that simultaneously measures the full polarization state of the corresponding RF sources. Polarization observation provides another level of understanding of the discharge processes. In this paper, we describe the new system and present example observations with such a system. Initial observations of impulsive lightning RF pulses, a K-event leader, and the initiating process for an intracloud flash are presented. The impulsive pulses were often linearly polarized and are consistent with conventional breakdown processes, whereas some occasional pulses were elliptically polarized and are likely related to relativistic breakdown processes. The K-event was detected polarized along a section of its channel, and the orientation of the polarization was mostly orthogonal to the channel, apparently due to the preceding charge deposition along the channel. The intracloud flash in this paper was initiated with downward fast positive streamers, and the corresponding signals were linearly polarized, consistent with conventional breakdown processes. The orientations of the polarization were nearly uniformly aligned withmore » the propagation direction of the streamers, indicating a near uniform electric field in the region of the initiating streamers. Lastly, an observation of a cosmic-ray shower is presented.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Univ. of California, Santa Cruz, CA (United States)
  3. Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program
OSTI Identifier:
1477665
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1474183
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-18-24675
Journal ID: ISSN 2169-897X
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-06NA25396; 20170179ER
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 123; Journal Issue: 18; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-897X
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; lightning physics; interferometry; polarization; lightning initiation

Citation Formats

Shao, Xuan-Min, Ho, Cheng, Caffrey, Michael Paul, Graham, Paul Stanley, Haynes, Brian, Bowers, Gregory S., Blaine, William G., Dingus, Brenda L., Smith, David, and Rasoul, Hamid. Broadband RF Interferometric Mapping and Polarization (BIMAP) Observations of Lightning Discharges: Revealing New Physics Insights Into Breakdown Processes. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1029/2018JD029096.
Shao, Xuan-Min, Ho, Cheng, Caffrey, Michael Paul, Graham, Paul Stanley, Haynes, Brian, Bowers, Gregory S., Blaine, William G., Dingus, Brenda L., Smith, David, & Rasoul, Hamid. Broadband RF Interferometric Mapping and Polarization (BIMAP) Observations of Lightning Discharges: Revealing New Physics Insights Into Breakdown Processes. United States. doi:10.1029/2018JD029096.
Shao, Xuan-Min, Ho, Cheng, Caffrey, Michael Paul, Graham, Paul Stanley, Haynes, Brian, Bowers, Gregory S., Blaine, William G., Dingus, Brenda L., Smith, David, and Rasoul, Hamid. Thu . "Broadband RF Interferometric Mapping and Polarization (BIMAP) Observations of Lightning Discharges: Revealing New Physics Insights Into Breakdown Processes". United States. doi:10.1029/2018JD029096. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1477665.
@article{osti_1477665,
title = {Broadband RF Interferometric Mapping and Polarization (BIMAP) Observations of Lightning Discharges: Revealing New Physics Insights Into Breakdown Processes},
author = {Shao, Xuan-Min and Ho, Cheng and Caffrey, Michael Paul and Graham, Paul Stanley and Haynes, Brian and Bowers, Gregory S. and Blaine, William G. and Dingus, Brenda L. and Smith, David and Rasoul, Hamid},
abstractNote = {We report broadband radio frequency (RF) interferometry was first introduced in 1996 for lightning studies. The technique has since been improved significantly and has been increasingly widely used in the lightning community. In addition to the interferometry, we now introduce a broadband polarization capability that simultaneously measures the full polarization state of the corresponding RF sources. Polarization observation provides another level of understanding of the discharge processes. In this paper, we describe the new system and present example observations with such a system. Initial observations of impulsive lightning RF pulses, a K-event leader, and the initiating process for an intracloud flash are presented. The impulsive pulses were often linearly polarized and are consistent with conventional breakdown processes, whereas some occasional pulses were elliptically polarized and are likely related to relativistic breakdown processes. The K-event was detected polarized along a section of its channel, and the orientation of the polarization was mostly orthogonal to the channel, apparently due to the preceding charge deposition along the channel. The intracloud flash in this paper was initiated with downward fast positive streamers, and the corresponding signals were linearly polarized, consistent with conventional breakdown processes. The orientations of the polarization were nearly uniformly aligned with the propagation direction of the streamers, indicating a near uniform electric field in the region of the initiating streamers. Lastly, an observation of a cosmic-ray shower is presented.},
doi = {10.1029/2018JD029096},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres},
number = 18,
volume = 123,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {9}
}

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Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Dual polarization, broadband VHF antennas, the LWA antenna, used for our lightning interferometric and polarization observations.

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