January 7, 2007 Looking more like a garage door remote control than any sort of scientific device, this lightning detector from SkyScan has the ability to detect the characteristic electromagnetic emissions from individual lightning strikes actual and determine how far away it is and whether it is moving towards you or away from you. With a 40 mile range of detection, the device gives the user ample time to seek shelter in the event of a lightning storm.
The casing is made from tough, weatherproof ABS plastic and the device features 4 LED warning lights for ranges of 0-3, 3-8, 8-20 and 20-40 miles, plus an audible tone. It also comes with a low battery light/tone and a belt clip for portability. Running on two 9-Volt batteries users will get 40-70 hours of detection from the life of the batteries.
The unit has applications for both commercial and everyday consumers with clients as varied as the armed forces, local governments, utility companies, sporting teams, golfers, boaters, campers and fishermen. SkyScan’s lightning detector is available online with a recommended retail price of USD$225.95.
A smaller, pager-like device was released by StrikeAlert some time ago and was the first personal device for lightning detection. The unit was built in response to statistics that as many as 100 Americans die from lightning strikes each year.