How are the lightning screens made?

version 1.1
27 June 2003
last update: 23Jun2005

The Boltek stormtracker is a PCI card device, which works inside an old refurbished Siemens computer (meteoLCD is fond of vintage computers!). The card is connected through an antenna, which is mounted on the roof of the new meteoLCD building inside a plastic sewer tube (to protect the antenna electronics from humidity). 

The antenna captures the longwave impulses given by the lightnings and feeds them to the PCI processor card; the software (Aquininosi Lightning/2000) takes the raw data and processes them to find distance, direction, type of lightning etc.

The detected lightnings are displayed (using different colors and markers according to the lightning type) on a realtime "radar"-type screen. A screen capture function of the software takes a capture every minute and sends the image to one of the local servers ( of our LAN. There several scripts make a mpeg movie of these screenshots, when lightning activity is above a preset minimum. These movies are accessible from the live data page, and are best viewed with Quicktime.

The resolution of the screen-map has been fixed at 800*600 pixels, the maximum allowed by the inbuilt screen-capture function of Lightning/2000 

The original map extends to about 300km; a central part extending to approx. 75km has been choosen so to give a reasonable magnitude of the contours of Luxembourg  and the neighbour regions.

The summary of today's activity is converted (every 5 minutes, using AUTOMATE44 from Unisyn) from the original text file into html by the a2hcons.exe software from Jafsoft .