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Interaction of Lightning Flashes with Wireless Communication Networks: Special Attention to Narrow Bipolar Pulses

In this thesis, the features of electric field signatures of narrow bipolar pulses (NBPs) generated by cloud flashes are investigated and their effects on wireless communication systems are studied. A handful amount of NBPs (14.5%) have been observed to occur as part of cloud-to-ground flashes in South Malaysia.

Occurrence of NBPs in Sweden has been reported for the first time in this thesis. The electric field waveform characteristics of NBPs as part of cloud-to-ground flashes were similar to isolated NBPs found in Sweden and South Malaysia and also to those isolated NBPs reported by previous studies from various geographical areas. This is a strong indication that their breakdown mechanisms are similar at any latitudes regardless of geographical areas.

A comparative study on the occurrence of NBPs and other forms of lightning flashes across various geographical areas ranging from northern regions to the tropics is presented. As the latitude decreased from Uppsala, Sweden (59.8°N) to South Malaysia (1.5°N), the percentage of NBP emissions relative to the total number of lightning flashes increased significantly from 0.13% to 12%.

Occurrences of positive NBPs were more common than negative NBPs at all observed latitudes. However, as latitudes decreased, the negative NBP emissions increased significantly from 20% (Sweden) to 45% (South Malaysia). Factors involving mixed-phase region elevations and vertical extents of thundercloud tops are invoked to explain the observed results. These factors are fundamentally latitude dependent.

In this thesis, the interaction between microwave radiations emitted by cloud-to-ground and cloud flashes events and bits transmission in wireless communication networks are also presented. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time such effects are investigated in the literature. Narrow bipolar pulses were found to be the strongest source of interference that interfered with the bits transmission.
Source: Uppsala University
Author: Ahmad, Mohd Riduan

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