NIMBUS4 storm detector                  
1) What are the primary technology advantages of the NIMBUS™ technology?

The NIMBUS™ storm detection technology combines state-of-the-art signal detection to its proprietary software algorithms to provide an ability to detect and identify all of the critical pieces of information produced by lightning and thunderstorms. The use of two front-end microprocessors and direct-to-digital conversion of the detected waveforms means that the resolution of lightning events is hundreds of times better than any existing technology. Because the detection is occurring in real-time at the storm location, the resolving power of the NIMBUS™ technology usually exceeds that of even high-power radar systems operating at long range from the storm. An additional strength of the NIMBUS™ technology over other “networked” systems is the use of low-frequency magnetic field detection rather than higher frequency E-field detection. Systems looking to minimize cost will usually rely on E-field detection due to the higher levels of detectable energy that can be collected with simple electronics. But E-field waveforms also carry much higher levels of “noise” that creates higher levels of inaccuracy and false positives.

Another important point to understand is that most competing technologies are simply voltage-pulse detectors that take in a lightning waveform and convert it into a simple voltage peak. The NIMBUS™ is capturing and analyzing the full lightning waveform, and this allows it to actually see the different cloud-to-ground and cloud-to-cloud strikes, as well as the difference between positive and negative polarity strikes. The NIMBUS™ capability for determining storm bearing from a single unit is also based on the product’s ability to see full waveforms, and not just voltage peaks.

2) How does NIMBUS™ deal with false positives?

The ability to effectively eliminate false positives is obviously vital to any lightning and storm detection system. The NIMBUS™ elevates its background noise and false positive suppression to a level never offered by combining the advantage of full-waveform detection with proprietary software algorithms. Once again, the ability to see and analyze the full lightning waveform gives the NIMBUS™ technology a huge advantage in filtering actual lightning waveforms from all other electromagnetic signals. The shape and characteristics of lightning is fundamentally different from electromagnetic noise generated by other sources, and the NIMBUS™ has the ability to “see” the differences. In addition, the NIMBUS™ noise suppression software uses a number of other proprietary techniques to map and characterize the noise background in any operating situation. This gives the NIMBUS™ technology the ability to effective operate without false positives in the most demanding industrial, commercial, or military environments.

3) Is the NIMBUS™ aimed at the private consumer or the commercial sector?

The NIMBUS™ technology has been specifically designed to meet the demands of high-end commercial, industrial, and military users. In addition, the NIMBUS™ platform, including the NIMBUS™4 hand-held product, includes an on-board compass and accelerometer, which has been included to allow the technology to perform on drones moving at altitude and speed in relation to a storm. The NIMBUS™4 hand-held can certainly be used by individual consumers, but the technology has been designed to perform in market applications at much higher levels.

4) What key features will appeal to the individual user?

In the hand-held package, the NIMBUS™ long-range detection (330km), directionality, and differentiation of lightning types (cloud-to-ground, cloud-to-cloud, positive polarity), and squall-line detection make it unequaled in the market. The NIMBUS™ ability to store up to a year’s worth of data for easy download is also significant. Finally, the ability to network NIMBUS units in real-time over the internet gives any small group of NIMBUS™ users the capability to create an instant network of any size.

5) Can the NIMBUS™ be calibrated in the field?

The ability to connect a NIMBUS™ unit to the internet via the USB connection allows Entropy to offer in-the-field diagnostics and calibration in real-time. Every NIMBUS™ unit comes with a 2-year warranty, and a 5-year support plan for 24/7 access to diagnostics and technical support via the internet. In addition to performing basic diagnostics, Entropy can provide a yearly calibration certificate as required by individual customers. This can all be accomplished without the NIMBUS™ unit leaving the customer’s hands.

6) Is the battery a rechargeable battery?

The NIMBUS™ battery is a 3200 milliamp ion battery which is rechargeable. This battery is estimated to have a run time of approximately 10 hours. Extended life batteries are also available for purchase.

7) Is NIMBUS™ a long lasting product?

NIMBUS™ is designed to be a long lasting durable product, which is repairable, upgradeable and can use online diagnostics if necessary for in-field adjustments, technical repair to software and settings if issues arise through direct internet diagnostics.

8) Does the NIMBUS™ have a charge indicator light or how will you know when to recharge?

The NIMBUS™4 will give charge status in two different ways:

  • 1) The charging base will have an indicator light—actually the NIMBUS™ logo will be a lens with an LED behind it that goes red when the unit is charging and turns the normal logo blue when charging is complete.
  • 2) The LCD on the unit will have a battery status indicator that shows an estimate of the operational time remaining in the battery. When the expected battery life is down to 2 hours or less, a re-charge warning will periodically display on the screen.