The weighted-hyperbola technique is an iterative computational technique for processing data on the times of arrival of pulsed signals at more than four observing stations to determine location (in both space and time) of origin of the signals. (The location is overdetermined when data from more than four stations are available). The technique was developed especially for use in processing data on electric-field signals to locate lightning sources and is expected to be particularly beneficial in cases in which the sources are near the ground. On each iteration, a "best estimate" of the location of the source is computed as a weighted average of locations from all possible four-station combinations of readings. The weight for each spatial coordinate for each four-station combination is proportional to the reciprocal of the variance for that coordinate and four-station combination, where the variance is based on the previous best estimate.

This work was done by Ewen M. Thomson of the University of Florida for Kennedy Space Center. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at under the Physical Sciences category, or circle no. 187 on the TSP Order Card in this issue to receive a copy by mail ($5 charge).

In accordance with Public Law 96-517, the contractor has elected to retain title to this invention. Inquiries concerning rights for its commercial use should be addressed to

Ewen M. Thomson University of Florida Dept. of Electrical Engineering P.O. Box 116200 Gainesville, FL 32611

Refer to KSC-11861, volume and number of this NASA Tech Briefs issue, and the page number.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the March, 1998 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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