EVALUATION OF THE PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS OF MERLIN AND NLDN BASED ON TWO YEARS OF GROUND-TRUTH DATA FROM KENNEDY SPACE CENTER/CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, FL
From May-October, 2015, a local lightning locating system at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS)/Kennedy Space Center (KSC) recorded high-speed video images and wideband rate of change of electric field waveforms for nearby lightning return strokes with accurate strike termination locations and times of the order of 10 m and 100 ns, respectively.
A subset of data including 321 return strokes having strike points determined with ground-truth accuracy (10 m or better) was selected to evaluate the performance characteristics of the newly installed Mesoscale Eastern Range Lightning Information Network (MERLIN), a local network of Vaisala TLS-200 sensors being installed to locate lightning strikes at KSC/CCAFS.
The results were compared with a similar analysis performed on data collected by the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN). The detection efficiencies, strike location errors, error ellipse parameters, and reported peak currents for both MERLIN and NLDN are evaluated and presented in this paper.