EVALUATION OF THE PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CGLSS AND NLDN SYSTEMS BASED ON TWO YEARS OF GROUND-TRUTH DATA FROM LAUNCH COMPLEX 39B, KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL
From May 2011 through July 2013, the lightning instrumentation at Launch Complex 39B (LC39B) at the Kennedy Space Center, FL, has obtained high-speed video records and field change waveforms (dE/dt and three-axis dH/dt) for 54 negative polarity return strokes whose strike termination locations and times are known with accuracy of the order of 10 m or less and 1 µs, respectively.
A total of 18 strokes terminated directly to the LC39B lighting protection system (LPS), which contains three 181 m towers in a triangular configuration, an overhead catenary wire system on insulating masts, and nine down conductors. An additional 9 strokes terminated on the 106 m lightning protection mast of Launch Complex 39A (LC39A), which is located about 2.7 km southeast of LC39B. The remaining 27 return strokes struck either on the ground or attached to low-elevation grounded objects within about 500 m of the LC39B LPS.
Leader/return stroke sequences were imaged at 3200 frames/sec by a network of six Phantom V310 high-speed video cameras. Each of the three towers on LC39B had two highspeed cameras installed at the 147 m level with overlapping fields of view of the center of the pad. The locations of the strike points of 54 return strokes have been compared to time-correlated reports of the Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Surveillance System (CGLSS) and the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN), and the results of this comparison will be presented and discussed.