Golkowski uses lightning storms to measure density of Earth’s upper atmosphere
During a storm, a flash of lightning sends out a wide range of electromagnetic frequencies. The speed of those waves changes based on the conditions of the upper atmosphere. Previous theoretical research measured the electromagnetic waves to gauge the lightning’s origin.
“I kind of reversed the problem,” says study author Mark Golkowski, PhD, associate professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering. “If I knew where lightning was coming from, then I could accurately diagnose the upper atmosphere along the path that it traveled.”