Thunderstorm (lightning) Detector


The BTD-300 Thunderstorm Detector is a standalone sensor that reliably detects the presence of all forms of lightning to a range of 83km. The unique quasi electrostatic operating principle gives the detector a very low false alarm rate and the ability to warn of the risk of overhead lightning.

The ability to reliably detect and range cloud-to-cloud lightning, which is typically much more common than cloud-to-ground strikes, makes the BTD-300 much more sensitive to the presence of storms compared to devices that rely on radio detection. The electrostatic operating principle allows the sensor to warn of the risk of overhead lightning before the first discharge occurs.

Virtually maintenance free in operation with no moving parts, the BTD-300 can either interface directly to an integrated system or be operated using the supplied PC compatible display and logging software. The optional warning relay module allows the sensor to automatically sound alarms whenever a storm approaches.

With its simple serial data output, the information from the BTD-300 can be easily integrated into any number of meteorological or aviation systems and is currently in use at both civil and military airports world-wide.

  • Warns of overhead lightning risk even before the first lightning discharge
  • Highly immune to radio interference which is the major cause of false alarms in traditional standalone detectors
  • 83km (45 nm) detection range exceeds the US FAA requirements
  • Detects cloud-to-cloud as well as weaker but more common cloud-to-ground lightning
  • Detects charged precipitation
  • Meets FAA performance requirements for aerodrome use
  • Meets EN50536:2011+A1:2012 requirements for a Class 1 detector
  • Meets IEC 62793 performance requirements for a Class A detector
  • Optional direction finder


  • Detects Cloud-to-Cloud, cloud-to-ground and intracloud lightning discharges
  • Output Ethernet or Serial data
  • Detection efficiency
  • 99.9% for storm with 3 flashes
  • For flashes within 56km
  • 95% for single lightning flash (any type)
  • 99% for storm with 2 flashes
  • Range 83km (51 statute miles)
  • Range Measurement
  • Repeatability: 0 to 20km – ±300m;  20 to 83km – ±1000m
  • Range Resolution 10m
  • False alarm rate <2%
  • Maximum flash rate 120 per minute
  • Time of flash Nearest 10ms (internal clock)
  • Measurement principle Passive, quasi-electrostatic
  • No moving parts
  • Direction (optional) Resolution 1°


  • Update rate 2s
  • Serial outputs Ethernet (virtual com port) or RS422
  • Message content Self-test status
  • Thunderstorm warning status
  • Flash time
  • Flash range
  • Flash direction (optional)


  • Sensor supply 100 to 240Vac 50-60Hz universal
  • Sensor power ~10W
  • Extended heating (optional) 30W


  • Operating temperature
  • – with extended heating
  • -40°C to +60°C
  • -50°C to +60°C
  • Relative humidity 0 – 100% RH
  • Protection rating IP66
  • Wind -1 To 50ms


  • CE Certified
  • EMC compliance with EN61326-1997, 1998, 2001
  • Compliance with EN50536:2011+A1:2012 for a Class 1 detector
  • Performs in accordance with IEC 62793 for a Class A detector
  • RoHS and WEEE compliant


  • 3 Warning state relays (optional) with volt free contacts: Caution state, Warning state and Alert state
  • Can be disabled at user configurable times
  • Warning thresholds User configurable


  • Material Stainless steel and powder paint coated
  • aluminium
  • Weight 25kg
  • Height 2,460mm
  • Warranty 2 years
  • Lifetime >10 years


  • Self-test capability as standard
  • Visual inspection 6 to 12 months


The sensor is delivered in sturdy recyclable foam filled packaging with:

  • Display and logging software
  • User manual and calibration certificates


  • BTD.DIRUP Direction finder field upgrade
  • BTD.FTU BTD-300 Field Test Unit
  • BTD.SK300 BTD-300 Spares Kit
  • BTD.WTY300 1 Year Extended Warranty