Broadband and HF radiation from cloud flashes and narrow bipolar pulses
Abstract: Remote measurement of electric field generated by lightning has played a major role in understanding the lightning phenomenon. Even though other measurements such as optical, photographic, channel base current and thunder signatures have contributed in this regards, due to practical reasons remote measurements of electric field is considered as the most useful tool in lightning research. This thesis discussed about the remotely measured radiation field component of electric field generated by cloud flashes (ICs) and narrow bipolar pulses (NBPs). The associated HF radiation of these events at 3 MHz and 30 MHz were also discussed. To understand the initiation process of these discharges, a comparative study of the initial pulse of cloud flashes with the initial pulse of cloud to ground flashes was conducted. The result suggests that both discharges might have been initiated by similar physical process inside the thunderclouds. Comparing the features of initial pulse of cloud and ground flashes with that of pulses appeared in the later stages of cloud flashes suggests that the initiation process involved in both flashes are not very much differ from the initiation of cloud flashes at the later stage. The average spectral amplitudes of electric field for first 120 ms of cloud flashes showed f-1 frequency dependence within the interval of 100 kHz to about 2 MHz and does not follow the standard f-2 decrease (or even more) at high frequency region. It was suggested that small pulses which repeatedly appeared at the later stage of cloud flashes might have contribute to enhance the spectral amplitude at higher frequencies. Electric fields generated by Narrow Bipolar Pulses (NBPs), which are considered as one of the strongest source of HF radiation were measured in Malaysia in the tropic and their features were also studied. Result shows a good agreement with previously published observations of NBPs in other geographical regions. The pulse duration of NBPs is varied within 20 – 30μs with the normalized peak amplitude is of the order of 10 V/m, averagely 2– 3 times larger than the peak amplitude of ordinary return strokes. They were observed to emit intense burst of HF radiation at 30 MHz. Thorough analyses and observation of these pulses found previously unreported sharp, fine peaks embedded at the rising and decaying edge of the electric field change of NBPs. Therefore it was suggested that these fine peaks were most probably to be responsible for the intense HF radiation at 30 MHz.
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