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Lightning stepped leaders

Hendriks, F (2016) Lightning stepped leaders. Bachelor's Thesis, Physics.

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The initial and yet fundamental process in a typical cloud-to-ground lightning strike includes the propagation of a very faint and charged channel which is called stepped leader. The exact mechanism for the step leaders is not understood. The reason for this is that the temporal and/or spatial resolution of the devices exploited for observing this phenomenon has not been sufficient. The radio interferometric array of LOFAR however is capable to measure radio signals with 1 ns temporal resolution. Thus LOFAR can measure the radio pulses emitted by stepped leaders at multiple times during the formation of the steps and locate the positions of the pulses with sub-meter accuracy. This provides with new possibilities to test and probe the theories explaining the propagation of a stepped leader. To interpret the measurements of LOFAR, I have developed a new simulation tool that is able to calculate the electric fields expected on the basis of current models. By comparing the simulation and experimental data, it could be possible to determine the characteristics of stepped leader formation.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Physics
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:24
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:24

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