Development of a low-cost IoT system for lightning strike detection and location

Ismael Mialdea-Flor, Jaume Segura-Garcia*, Santiago Felici-Castell, Miguel Garcia-Pineda, Jose M. Alcaraz-Calero, Enrique Navarro-Camba

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)


Lightning and thunder are some of the most violent natural phenomena. They generate a great deal of expenditure and economic loss, especially when they strike in cities. The identification of the concrete geographic area where they strike is of critical importance for emergency services in order to enhance their effectiveness by doing an intensive coverage of the affected area. To achieve this purpose at the city scale, this paper proposes the design, prototype, and validation of a distributed network of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The IoT devices are empowered with lightning detection capabilities and are synchronized with the other devices in the sensor network. All of them cooperate within a network that is able to locate different events thanks to a trilateration algorithm implemented in a big data environment. The designed low-cost lightning detection system is based on the AS3935 sensor. This system alone has a limited range of effective detection, but when it is embedded in an IoT mesh network, the accuracy and performance are increased. A fully operational IoT network was deployed, and a functional validation and empirical measurements are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1512
Number of pages14
JournalElectronics (Switzerland)
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2019


  • IoT
  • Lightning detection and location
  • Sensor design


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