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Detecting thunderstorm gamma radiation with LORA

Wempe, Ewoud (2019) Detecting thunderstorm gamma radiation with LORA. Bachelor's Thesis, Physics.


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Apart from the familiar lightning flashes, thunderstorms emit high-energy particles and gamma radiation. On ground level, the most important types of thunderstorm-related high-energy activity are Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes (TGFs) and gamma-ray glows. In this project, I looked for these phenomena in the data of the LORA cosmic ray detectors, that stand on the LOFAR core. I estimated that it should be possible to observe TGFs in the data, if one occurred nearby. And although gamma-ray glows would not give a rise in the event rate, they should be measurable by looking at single-detector count rates. It turned out, however, that the LORA data had many instrumental artifacts that made it unable to observe these thunderstorm-related events. In particular, the sin- gles count rates showed many jagged features, and peaks that rose several orders of magnitude above background, even during fair weather. The rate of events that LORA measured also showed many spikes of instrumental nature. One thunderstorm-correlated type of event was observed: many mysterious, non-causal, modulated, sinusoidal signals that varied over microsecond timescales showed up during thunderstorms. What caused them remains unclear.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Supervisor nameSupervisor E mail
Degree programme: Physics
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2019
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2019 09:36

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