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Section 2.4

High-Altitude Lightning Observation Site

A high-altitude lightning observation site (HALOS) in Colorado available for independent research activities.

All parties are welcome, though available space is limited. Fees are modest and are negotiated on per-use or a per-project basis. Email NLSI for further information.

Details about HALOS are as follows:

1.0 Location and Facilities


1.1 HALOS is located at the 11,500 level of the Colorado Front Range Rocky Mountains, some 35 miles W. of Boulder and 75 miles W. of Denver CO.

1.2 The 300 acre site is rolling to flat, with fragmented and broken granite soils. It is accessible only by 4WD vehicle (provided). Walking is required for the final two miles (due to vegetation sensitivity).

1.3 A wooden frame, 1500-ft. sq. Quonset-design building is on site. Power (220 -110 V) and telephone lines (fiber T-1) are on site. All test equipment/materials should be furnished by the researchers.

1.4 Modern support facilities are located about 4 miles below the site, at the 9500 ft. elevation. A cafeteria, overnight cabin-type accommodations, and a conference room are available.

1.5 More information about HALOS is available from another site.

2.0 Lightning Information


2.1 The Isokeraunic Index is estimated reliably at 105-122/year. By comparison, Denver's Iso is about 65-70.

2.2 A Global Atmospherics, Inc. flash density map will be available shortly. 

3.0 Climate Conditions, Personal Safety & Liability 


3.1 Users of HALOS must be in good physical condition.

3.2 All researchers using the facilities must attend a Local Conditions Briefing (three hours). Weather conditions change fast at this altitude. Regardless of time of year, proper personal equipment and understanding of emergency procedures are essential.

3.3 Users of HALOS agree to hold NLSI and other agencies harmless from all consequences incurred and to assume full responsibility for same. Sites must be restored to original condition at project end. 

4.0 Examples of Research


4.1 Research projects largely are unrestricted, but project outlines are subject to review and approval by NLSI.

4.2 Examples of research might include issues related to grounding, bonding, shielding, corrosion, transient limiters, and air terminals.

4.3 Rocket-triggered and laser-triggered research are allowed. Static-filled clouds are in abundance at this site, usually less than 1000 feet overhead. 

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