DS0104 -

Exploiting new Atmospheric Electricity Data for Research and the Environment – EXAEDRE

Submission summary

Several studies indicate that the electrical activity should increase in warmer climate scenario with less numerous but more severe thunderstorms. The expected increase of dangerous electrical atmospheric phenomenon then requires defining at present the adaptation measures and strategies to anticipate their impacts on human activities. However, we are far from understanding all the physical processes associated with natural lightning flashes and their links with the properties of their parent thunderstorms.
The EXAEDRE (EXploiting new Atmospheric Electricity Data for Research and the Environment) project aims at consolidating the activities, which started during the HyMeX (HYdrological cycle in the Mediterranean EXperiment) field campaign by the French community on the research and operational exploitation of both observations and numerical simulations in relation with atmospheric electricity. The EXAEDRE activities rely on innovative multi-disciplinary and state of the art instrumentation and modeling tools to provide a comprehensive description of the electrical activity in thunderstorms.
The EXAEDRE observational part is based on i) existing lightning data collected during HyMeX Special Observation Period (SOP1), and permanent lightning observations provided by the research SAETTA and the operational Météorage lightning locating systems, ii) new lightning observations mapped with a brand new VHF interferometer especially developed within the EXAEDRE project, iii) a dedicated field campaign over Corsica combining ground-based lightning location detection (SAETTA, Météorage, interferometer), a suite of ground-based instruments sensitive to lightning component properties and cloud electrification, the new airborne electric field mills AMPERA, a suite of airborne microphysics probes and the airborne 95 GHz Doppler cloud radar RASTA onboard the French Falcon research aircraft, and operational weather radar and satellite imagers. The modeling part of the EXAEDRE project relies on the electrification and lightning schemes developed in the French cloud resolving model MésoNH and on the Météo-France operational model AROME for innovative investigation of lightning data assimilation Through its rather comprehensive observational and modeling approach, the EXAEDRE project will improve our knowledge on lightning physics and on the links between lightning occurrence, electrification, dynamics and microphysics. The project will also assess the benefits of the lightning information for severe weather nowcasting and for numerical weather prediction improvement through lightning data assimilation. Finally the EXAEDRE project should also prepare the exploitation of the future optical lightning observations of the Meteosat Third Generation program.
The EXAEDRE consortium consists in Academics and Industries that are complementary and experts in their respective fields. The EXAEDRE research activities should help promote and expend industrial partner's know-how and expertise on instrumentation, data analysis and information tools. For instance Météorage expects exploiting the EXAEDRE observations to verify, validate and calibrate different of its operational products. Météorage also envisages integrating EXAEDRE data into its platform of services providing to its customers new lightning-information-based services. On their side, ONERA and CIELE expect to re-use the EXAEDRE developments for other industrial applications.
The EXEADRE project is relevant to the different ANR Orientations n°1, n°3 and n°15 through its observational and modeling-based strategy. The EXEADRE outcomes will eventually provide a first set of inputs for the development of adaptation measures and strategies to ensure the safety of the community in the large sense, but also to provide key information to the decision chains and emergency agencies. Finally EXAEDRE should help identify some lightning-based parameters relevant for the monitoring of Earth climate evolution.

Project coordination

Eric Defer (Université Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier, Laboratoire d'Aérologie)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


LaMP Laboratoire de Météorologie Physique
CIELE CIELE Ingénierie
Météorage Météorage
[IS]2 Innovative Solutions for Instrumentation and Science
ONERA Office national d'études et de recherches aérospatiales
CNRS/CNRM Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques
UT3-LA Université Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier, Laboratoire d'Aérologie

Help of the ANR 800,550 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2016 - 36 Months

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