Lightning detector

Is a storm on its way? Let’s find out using a circuit based on a sensor to detect electrical shock in the atmosphere capable of letting us know how near and how strong it is.

Meteorological centers can monitor, besides atmospheric parameters in order to estimate rain probability and volume, also storms and their related electrostatic phenomena, such as lightnings. In some countries exposed to consistent electrical atmospheric phenomena in their risks, this becomes particularly important. Without making any reference to the word of cinema, where catastrophic movies with “killer” lightnings are not lacking, we can understand how lightnings we see crossing the sky and hitting the ground could be dangerous, due to the huge amount of energy they can transmit eet coming from the sky (where they are formed) and crashing to the ground, on buildings, trees and unfortunately even on humans. Such danger is even higher in those areas where lightnings can form even in the near absence of storms, out of the blue. Without taking into consideration damages caused by lightnings happening near networks of power distribution and telecommunication grid to electric and especially electronic devices, in form of induced overvoltage.

The analysis of atmospheric electric phenomena is carried out using various methods (the oldest one being Benjamin Franklin’s kite) based on preemptive evaluation of static electricity buildups in atmosphere and on locating electric discharges, using complex and pricey apparatuses, however this can also be done on an amateur level, in your home, thanks to devices such as a sensor based on the AS3935 IC by AMS, which is employed in the application described in the next pages. The component used can detect radio electric disturbances caused by electric arcs (such as lightnings) and, through a specific processing, can provide a signal corresponding to the detection of a lightning and its intensity.”

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