Electric field meter could improve site safety

Paul Boughton

A new device manufactured by Campbell Scientific will improve knowledge of local electrical fields and provide warnings of overhead lightning threats to operations vulnerable to lightning.

The CS110 Electric Field Meter measures the vertical component of the atmospheric electric field. It is used in research applications for measuring the local electric field and for lightning warning applications. The CS110 uses a reciprocating shutter instead of the traditional rotating vane field mill, a feature that improves reliability and reduces power consumption.
The atmospheric electric field exists as a background energy level throughout the earth, and varies according to thunderstorm activity globally. It is a measure of the strength of the global electric circuit. Under fair weather conditions the electric field typically measures -- 100 voltspermeter. Thunderstorm events globally have an impact on the electric field locally. Local thunderstorm events overpower the fair weather electric field, increasing it to ±20000 volts er meter.
Electric field has historically been measured using an electric field mill. The CS110 EFM can measure the electric field at ground level. The field meter can be integrated into existing systems or automated weather stations to provide a full range of meteorological measurements, communication and alarm call-outs from a field or industrial site.

Campbell Scientific Ltd is based in Shepshed, Leicestershire, UK. " target="_blank">www.campbellsci.co.uk