Client Contract

Client: Lars Nyland

Contractors: Eric Baker Adam Seeger

Mave Houston Andy Wilson

Benjamin Lok

General Description

Of interest to meteorologists is the structure of lightning channels (the path of the bolt). Several researchers have developed methods of reconstructing the meso structure (1-5m resolution) of lightning, using audio information (thunder) from multiple disparate points with good success. The goal of this project is to create an end-to-end system that reconstructs and displays lightning from a recording of a complete storm. There are three major parts of this project:

Thunder data acquisition. At least 3 (perhaps as many as 6) waterproof microphones with preamplifiers will be set up with known positions on the roof of Sitterson Hall to record the thunder. The microphones will be attached to a sound card in 1 PC where the audio data can be digitized for further analysis. The software will allow a person to start the recording of a storm, and data formats will be designed that incorporate the synchronization of the information from the distributed recording of audio information.

Thunder data analysis. The data will be processed to yield the physical structure of the lightning channel, along with the time that it occurred.

Storm visualization. Finally, the physical and temporal data will be displayed using a visualization environment implemented using OpenGL. Additionally, models and texture maps of the surrounding landscape will add interesting features to the display. Not only will the user be able to move through the storm spatially, but also temporally, replaying the storm as it develops and declines.

Contractor Obligations

The party of Eric Baker, Mave Houston, Benjamin Lok, Adam Seeger, and Andy Wilson shall hereafter be collectively referred to as the contractor. The contractor hereby agrees to provide the client with functional software that meets the specifications defined under the heading "Primary Requirements". The contractor further agrees that this software shall be delivered to the client no later than May 8, 1999.

The contractor further agrees to provide the client with detailed documentation regarding the design and use of all software developed. This documentation will be delivered in both hard copy and softcopy (via the Internet) form to the client no later than May 8, 1999.

Primary Requirements

    1. 1.  Thunder Data Acquisition
    1. 2.  Thunder Data Analysis
    1. 3.  Storm Visualization
Secondary Requirements

Tertiary Requirements

Client Obligations

The party of Lars Nyland shall hereafter be referred to as the client. The client agrees to provide the contractor with reasonable access to hardware, software, and services defined under the heading "Resources". If the client is unable to provide access to hardware and software required, the suite of tools may not be available for demonstration purposes, if at all. The client further agrees to respond quickly to design proposals and questions posed by the contractor, and to offer moral support and candy when the stress level reaches a dangerously high level.



The following events or situations could adversely affect the success of the project:

  1. It might not thunder!! --- If it does not thunder, then we will not be able to guarantee accurate visualization of lightning from prerecorded thunderstorms in real-time. Instead we may have to simulate the storms, thus users will navigate through recorded storms. There may also not be enough information available to simulate the storms accurately.
  2. Analysis may not run automatically --- The segmentation of audio information is hard. The brute-force approach may not work, and automatic segmentation of sound is way beyond the scope of this course.
  3. Real time visualization may include unforeseen delays in information updates --- There may be some unpredictable delays in information transfer, which could cause the visualization to be behind by some small amount.

The following clearly defines any terms that may be unclear:


Lars Nyland -- Client

Eric Baker -- Contractor

Mave Houston -- Contractor

Benjamin Lok -- Contractor

Adam Seeger -- Contractor

Andy Wilson -- Contractor