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INPE’s network of lightning and severe storms detection inaugurated in Rio Grande do Sul
Monday, September 10, 2012

The Atmospheric Electricity Group (Grupo de Eletricidade Atmosférica - ELAT) of the National Institute for Space Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais - INPE) inaugurates this month the Brazilian Network of Lightning Detection (BrasilDAT) in Rio Grande do Sul. The new sensors of BrasilDAT in Southern Brazil are already working and they make the region one of the world’s better prepared to monitor climate change.

Among the main things that give a feedback to society is the system’s ability to indentify lightning occurring inside clouds. This new technology will allow indentify previously the severe storms, which might come with heavy rainfall, winds, hail and tornadoes. The network also can accurately record lightning that reach the ground.

The new sensors, installed in the cities of Santa Maria, Rio Grande, Uruguaiana, Santa Rosa Viamão e Casca, will benefit the monitoring system responsible for issuing alerts to companies when storms and lightning are approaching. The new information will also be important for future projects of research, development and innovation, which may help the electricity and telecommunication industry, and other sectors of Southern Brazil.

For over 10 years the ELAT/INPE, in partnership with several electric companies (power transmission and construction), has been carrying out research and development aimed at new methodologies, technologies and monitoring services, assessments and prediction of storms and lightning, which is very useful for the engineer and security. Due to this new network, ELAT/INPE can now also perform in Rio Grande do Sul.
“This new technology brings a substantial advance for weather and climate monitoring in the state,” said Osmar Pinto Junior, ELAT/INPE coordinator and director of BrasilDAT.

The Rio Grande do Sul is the state that has highest incidence of lightning per area (about 18/km2 every year). About 5 million lightning reach the ground every year, and, according to estimates, there are ten times more lightning within the clouds. In the last decade, the lightnings that have reached the ground caused 106 deaths in the state and a loss of one billion Reais in different segments, such as industry, energy, agriculture and telecommunication.


To officially inaugurate the BrasilDAT in Rio Grande do Sul, the ELAT/INPE, along with FIERGS, will promote, on September 12 in Porto Alegre, an event to be attended by regional authorities, researchers and entrepreneurs, who will discuss together the impact of this new network deployment in business and society.

During the event, the director of BrasilDAT and researcher for INPE, Osmar Pinto Junior, will lecture technical details of BrasilDAT and how to access their information for research and other applications.

Registration will be required at the event, which will take place at FIERGS (Mercosul plenary) at 10 am on Wednesday (9/12), or via e-mail

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