The LPLWS is comprised of 31 AGBFM sensors located about NASA/KSC and the CCAFS. The 45th Weather Squadron operates the Range Weather Operations, which utilzes the surface electric field data from the LPLWS with data from wind sensors, LDAR (Lightning Detection and Ranging), and the NLDN (National Lightning Detection Network) and satellite imagery to forcast and provide weather advisories for Shuttle and ELV (Expendable Launch Vehicle) preparation and launch activities.
Refer to Lightning and the Space Program (.pdf) for more information.
An operational, certified, inverted tripod-mounted AGBFM unit at CCAFS is shown at right. The tripod support is designed to prevent noise due to physical motion of the sensor and to allow the AGBFM survive hurricane force winds. Each AGBFM maintains the 14-bit precision of the Prototype EFM and incorporates a microprocessor which:
Responds to test and self-calibrate commands;