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: https://www.siliconrepublic.com/innovation/wiki-science-photography-competition-ireland
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