Science Foundation Ireland

CONNECT’s David Malone wins Wiki Science image competition

Dr David Malone, CONNECT Funded Investigator in Maynooth University, has won the inaugural Wiki Science competition for Ireland’s best sci-tech image for 2017 in the non-photograph category.

The image, entitled ‘Lightning 1’ shows ten seconds of long-wave radio spectrum as recorded in Dublin before, during and after a lightning strike. The 10 seconds of time are shown along the x-axis and the frequency is shown on the y-axis. The amount of power detected at that frequency is shown by the brightness of the colour.

For example, the horizontal line at 252 kHz shows the RTE Radio 1 transmitter on long-wave. The bright vertical line shows the lightning strike itself.

By looking before and after the lightning at about 60 kHz, we can see the radio transmission conditions have changes: after the lightning strike a dotted line can be seen, which is the “Rugby” time signal from the UK. Higher resolution image here.

The spectrum was recorded using a software radio built using Juan Domenech Fernandez’s modification to a BT878A TV card and a long wire antenna. The samples were processed with the sox command line tool to produce a spectrogram.

Coverage on Silicon Republic:

CONNECT is the world leading Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Future Networks and Communications. CONNECT is funded under the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centres Programme and is co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund. We engage with over 35 companies including large multinationals, SMEs and start-ups. CONNECT brings together world-class expertise from ten Irish academic institutes to create a one-stop-shop for telecommunications research, development and innovation.