Wireless Online Atmospheric Electric Field Measurement System Based on Rotating-vane Electric Field Mill

Muhammad Abu Bakar Sidik, Hamizah Shahroom, Zolkafle Buntat, Yanuar Zulardiansyah Arief, Zainuddin Nawawi, Muhammad ‘Irfan Jambak


One of the popular methods to measure atmospheric quasi-static electric field is by using rotating-vane electric field mill (REFM) sensor. By observing electric fields strength in atmosphere, occasion of lightning incident can be forecasted. This paper proposes an integration of REFM with an online wireless data monitoring system for long distance observation and data collection. This method reduces system costs by removing the computer and data logger on-site. Furthermore, it reduces the required man-hour to gather data from the REFM. The development includes hardware and software design in order to improve efficiency the atmospheric electric field measurement system. The contribution of this paper is the design of the electronic circuit which converts the ac signal from the REFM sensor to dc signal and then correlates the signal to the electric field strength in the vicinity. Subsequently the information is transmitted via a wireless data transmission system, using the Global System Mobile Communication (GSM) network. Using the proposed method, all the data from sensors can be observed and analyse immediately from any location.


atmospheric; electric field sensor; lightning; wireless data communication.


A. Fort, M. Mugnaini, V. Vignoli, S. Rocchi, F. Perini, J. Monari, et al., "Design, modeling, and test of a system for atmospheric electric field measurement," Instrumentation and Measurement, IEEE Transactions on, vol. 60, pp. 2778-2785, 2011.

M. Z. Jacobson, Fundamentals of atmospheric modeling: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

E. J. Tarbuck and F. K. Lutgens, "Earth Science 8th Edition, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458," ed: Pearson Education, Inc, 2006.

M. Alam and H. Ahmad, "Review of Lightning Warning Systems: Technical and Economical Aspects," in Proc. Int. Conf. on Electromagnetic Compatibility, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1995, pp. 89-94.

"IEEE Guide for the Measurement of DC Electric-Field Strength and Ion Related Quantities," IEEE Std 1227-1990, p. 1, 1990.

G. Diendorfer, M. Mair, W. Schulz, and W. Hadrian, Lightning current measurements in Austria-experimental setup and first results: na, 2000.

J. C. Mosher, T. M. Rynne, and P. S. Lewis, "MUSIC for localization of thunderstorm cells," in Signals, Systems and Computers, 1993. 1993 Conference Record of The Twenty-Seventh Asilomar Conference on, 1993, pp. 986-990.

W. D. Rust and R. J. Trapp, "Initial balloon soundings of the electric field in winter nimbostratus clouds in the USA," Geophysical research letters, vol. 29, pp. 20-1-20-4, 2002.

E. H. Gurban and G. Andreescu, "SCADA element solutions using Ethernet and mobile phone network," in Intelligent Systems and Informatics (SISY), 2011 IEEE 9th International Symposium on, 2011, pp. 303-308.

H. Cai, "A Remote Wireless Data Acquisition System Based on Ad Hoc Network and GPRS," in 2009Second International Workshop on Computer Science and Engineering, IEEE, 2009.

Z. Nawawi, M. A. Bakar Sidik, M. Boon Kean, H. Ahmad, Z. Buntat, N. Azlinda Ahmad, et al., "Data transmission system of rotating electric field mill network using microcontroller and GSM module," Jurnal Teknologi (Sciences and Engineering), vol. 64, pp. 109-112, 2013.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.