The importance of lightning detection, mapping and warnings in aerospace

The importance of lightning detection, mapping and warnings in aerospace

Having a full understanding of the weather is an integral part of working in the aerospace industry. After all, in the event that your plane comes across inclement weather, you need to know what to expect and when to expect it. This is where lightning detection and warnings are a key part of keeping planes safe. Learn more about lightning detection, mapping and warning in the aerospace industry, and why it helps pilots deal with dangerous weather conditions throughout the duration of a flight.


What is lightning detection?


When airports have weather sensors around the perimeter, they are in place for more than simply detecting the wind and rain. Another key part of weather sensors is detecting lightning. Lightning detectors see pulses of static electricity immediately prior to a lightning strike, working closely in tandem with other lightning detectors and weather stations in triangulating the location of the lightning strike and mapping it for future reference. These networks of detectors exist around the world, accurately mapping lightning strikes all around the world on a constant basis.


Mapping and forecasting


Once organisations have a full idea of the number of strikes, the location of the strikes and the conditions leading up to the strikes, the next stages in the process begin. This entails noting down the precise locations of every lightning strike and using the factors leading up to it to forecast and predict impending lightning strikes. Collecting all of the data surrounding lightning strikes is an integral part of the forecasting process, as it ensures that weather monitoring algorithms see patterns and warn pilots in a timely manner.


Using lightning warnings


In the event that a lightning strike is likely to occur near an airport, the airport and any pilots in the vicinity receive a warning. These lightning warnings not only tell pilots that there is likely to be a lightning strike in the near future but informs the pilot of the probable intensity of the lightning strike and the location lightning strikes are expected. This is a key part of the weather forecasting process, keeping pilots a comfortable distance away from the most severe weather issues and keeping responsible people informed of potentially dangerous situations.


Why are lightning warnings so important?


Although in the majority of cases the charge from a lightning strike has no impact on a plane, there is always the potential for complications. This means that in more violent electrical storms, lightning warnings help pilots to avoid the most severe areas of the storm and keep their passengers as safe as possible. This is especially the case for people with medical assistance such as pacemakers, as electrical currents in the air can have an impact on their condition.



If you’re interested in learning more about weather forecasting and lightning detection systems in airports, including Qatar’s Hamad International Airport, get in touch with the Bayanat Engineering team today. We offer thorough support and advice for airport administrators, ensuring that you have the right weather prediction systems in place to keep your passengers safe and secure.