*Gilbert Mwangi and Kenneth Odhiambo*
Severe Weather Consult: Piloting first Local-made Lightning technology in Africa
Lightning causes property destruction and claiming peoples lives. In East Africa, this impact is more felt near Lake Victoria and Lake Kivu which are listed among the lightning capitals of the world.
Prevention and mitigation are possible where there is a system that communicates accurate information to locals on when strikes are about to happen, and advice on the safety precautions to take.
SWC is rolling out the first low-cost system lightning detection system for a commercial application. The system monitors lightning strikes, analyzes the data and disseminates it to users in near real-time.
The Low-Cost Technology:
SWC uses low-cost electronic sensors that detect the lightning distance from sensor location. Multiple sensors are installed in different places. Using low-cost communication electronics, the data is transmitted to the cloud, where it is analyzed to track lightning progress in an area. The information, with actionable steps, is then delivered to users by phone.
Prototype Lightning Sensor:
Our lightning sensor, still under development has these features:
• Captures lightning information
• Automatic: It captures data, and transmit information online via cellular network
• Solar powered