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.