Wednesday 17 July 2013

Summer storms... the data

Still on the theme of cooler weather, a while ago we posted a few photographs of some of the summer storms. Well, as we've been trawling through the data, we've found that particular event, and it looks pretty interesting in radio part of the spectrum.

In the first plot we have the different beamlets plotted as a function of time. The colours indicate the power (blues = low power, greens = medium, reds = strong).

Power (colour) for beamlets vs time.

The horizontal bands are for the different pointing directions (we have 11-14 beamlets per direction). Small rises in power (such as the green-ish section on the left) are due to parts of our Galaxy passing through those particular beams. The small flecks (such as in beamlets 85-95) are ionospheric scintillation.

But the interesting part here are the thin (single-sample) vertical lines that run through all beamlets. These are the radio bursts from the nearby lightning.

If we take the mean of all beamlets in the above plot and put them on the same time-axis, we see a rather startling forest of lightning discharge events.

Mean of beamlets from Plot 1 on the same time axis.

What's more, the above plot has a logarithmic vertical axis, giving some idea of the power levels that we get from these nearby atmospheric events.

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