Enterprise Europe Network

Novel lightning threat indicator

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External Id: 
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Partner keyword: 
Aeronautical technology / Avionics


The unique technology takes advantage of information about the increase of electric charge of water droplets in a cloud, which is obtained by measuring the characteristics of electromagnetic (EM) radiation backscattered by a cloud at two wavelengths. An industrial partner for further development and for licensing of the technology is sought. The proprietors of the technology are looking for partners to cooperate with via license agreement or via financial agreement.



Nowadays, several methods exist for prediction of storms with electric discharges. They mostly use technologies based on evaluation of radar and temperature data. Those that work in the radar mode determine the shape of droplets, which in this case serves as an indicator of presence of an increased amount of electric charge. In essence, it is a detection of particle morphology, as this is related to electric charge. The main disadvantage of these methods is their relation to the particle shape, as this can change significantly with meteorological conditions, leading to uncertainties in the interpretation of the measured data, and also often to large errors or even to the inapplicability of the method under given conditions. A system has been developed at a Slovak scientific and research institute in cooperation with an established Slovak university and an internationally recognized US researcher. The advantage of this system is that it does not depend on external factors such as wind shear which has an influence on particle morphology, and thus could indirectly disable a correct interpretation of the measured data. An incorrect evaluation can lead to a false indication of a potential lightning threat. The new solution is based on the analysis of optical signals of back scattered radiation, which are a demonstration of the electric charge. The developed electric charge monitoring system uses a simple principle in which electrically charged particles with dimensions of at least 100 times smaller than the wavelength of the radar signal scatter electromagnetic radiation with altered efficiency. Due to small droplet dimensions, this method is advantageous for radars operating in the microwave region, i.e. at wavelengths of several millimeters or more. The backscatter intensity measured by the detector is essentially a superposition of intensities of scattered radiation generated by all the droplets visible in the field of view of the device.

The proprietors of the technology are looking for partners to cooperate with via license agreement or via financial agreement.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
Competitive advantage: • Prediction capability independent of droplet morphology (the novel technology is based on optical properties), • Prediction capability independent of external factors such as wind shear.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Concept stage

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
Type: company (industry) Field of activity: no preference. company (industry) Field of activity: no preference. The technology can be used e.g. in applied meteorology, mainly the use of information about the state of electric charge of water droplets to indicate the lightning threat for various applications (e.g. in operation of airports). Role: License agreement - an industrial partner for licensing of this technology is sought. Financial agreement - an investor into this technology is sought.

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
SME 11-50,SME <10,>500 MNE,251-500,SME 51-250,>500


novel lightning threat indicator