Interference from cloud-to-ground and cloud flashes in wireless communication system

Mohd Riduan Ahmad*, Mona Riza Mohd Esa, Vernon Cooray, Eryk Dutkiewicz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, cloud-to-ground (CG) flash and intra-cloud (IC) flash events that interfere with the transmission of bits in wireless communication system operating at 2.4 GHz were analyzed. Bit error rate (BER) and consecutive lost datagram (CLD) measurement methods were used to evaluate BER and burst error from 3 tropical thunderstorms on November 27, 28, and 29 during 2012 northeastern monsoon in Malaysia. A total of 850 waveforms from the electric field change recording system were recorded and examined. Out of these, 94 waveforms of very fine structure were selected which matched perfectly with the timing information of the recorded BER. We found that both CG and IC flashes interfered significantly with the transmission of bits in wireless communication system. The severity of the interference depends mainly on two factors namely the number of pulses and the amplitude intensity of the flash. The interference level becomes worst when the number of pulses in a flash increases and the amplitude intensity of pulses in a flash intensifies. During thunderstorms, wireless communication system has experienced mostly intermittent interference due to burst error. Occasionally, in the presence of very intense NBP event, wireless communication system could experience total communication lost. In CG flash, it can be concluded that PBP is the major source of interference that interfered with the bits transmission and caused the largest burst error. In IC flash, we found that the typical IC pulses interfered the bits transmission in the same way as PBP and mixed events in CG flash and produced comparable and in some cases higher amount of burst error. NBP has been observed to interfere the bits transmission more severely than typical IC and CG flashes and caused the most severe burst error to wireless communication system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-246
Number of pages10
JournalElectric Power Systems Research
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


  • bit error rate
  • cloud flash
  • cloud-to-ground flash
  • interference
  • microwave radiation
  • wireless system


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