Listening to Lightning in the Duke Forest

January 26, 2021

ECE professor Steve Cummer's field of antennas relays information about when and where lightning strikes

Steve Cummer

Steve Cummer

Since 1931, the Duke Forest has been the university’s biggest and oldest laboratory for teaching and research. To celebrate its 90th birthday, the Office of the Duke Forest will release a series of videos highlighting the research that happens within its boundaries. 

Electrical and computer engineering professor Steve Cummer is one of the faculty members who works in the Duke Forest. Cummer studies the propagation of waves; his research group's outpost in the forest consists of a small trailer and a field of antennas, which cover different frequencies of signals that are emitted by lightning. These sensors relay valuable information about where and when lightning strikes. 

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