Lightning Radio Emissions

Listen to an audio demo

Did you know that here in Atlanta we can easily observe lightning from almost anywhere on the planet? This is because lightning releases intense low frequency radio waves that propagate globally, reflecting from an upper atmospheric electrically charged layer known as the ionosphere.

Power Grid Cybersecurity

Lightning for cybersecurity

What else emits energy at low frequency? The power grid! We can detect and diagnose the power grid using its emitted LF energy. And who would have thought that lightning occurring around the world may be the key to securing the power grid against cyberattack?

Machine Learning for Space

Video about Space Weather

There are bands of intense radiation (originally from the sun) that surround the Earth, which bombard and destroy satellite electronics, trigger power outages and knock out GPS coverages. LF waves play a role in a large system, and we are building a massive forecasting algorithm to better predict space weather, using machine learning tools.

Next-Gen Antennas

Major US Navy award

Generating low frequency waves for global communications and navigation ordinarily requires enormous antennas covering thousands of acres. We are rethinking and redefining the antenna with novel approaches, with potential implications to radars and other electromagnetic applications.

Navigation and Comms

Learn about the ionosphere

Because low frequency waves travel globally, they have practical uses. Long before GPS existed, engineers used low frequency waves broadcast from radio stations to determine location anywhere on the planet. And various navies have been using low frequency waves to communicate with submarines across an entire ocean.

Radio Receiver Design

Live low frequency data

We build hardware, too! We design our own radio receiver, the most sensitive radio receivers you can find in this band, capable of detecting even weak lightning activity from thousands of miles away. Hands-on work is shared as a team effort by the whole group.

Plasma Physics

Plasma in your everyday life

Maybe you think of TV screens, but most of the universe, including the Earth's surrounding space environment, is comprised of plasma. And when radio waves, particularly at low frequencies, propagate through plasmas, really interesting things happen. We merge observations with theoretical models.

High Altitude Ballooning

See a solar eclipse from above

Why confine ourselves to the ground? We lead an undergraduate team of researchers building high-altitude (100,000 ft) balloons equipped with sensors (cameras, x-ray, electromagnetic), to study lightning, solar eclipse, and other upper atmospheric phenomena from above. Students earn credit and can stay on the team for years.



Versatility, insight, and teamwork

We build our own toys, collect our own data, and write our own theories