BTD-200 Lightning Warning System

Model Number: BTD-200
Manufacturer: Biral
Product Brochure: Download

The BTD-200 Lightning Warning System is a complete, out-of-the-box, self-contained sensor that reliably detects the presence of all forms of lightning to a range of 35km.


BTD-200 Lightning Warning System

The BTD-200 Lightning Warning System is a complete detection and warning system which has been developed from the Biral range of professional, aviation grade lightning detection systems.

It reliably detects the local presence of all forms of lightning out to a range of 35km (22 miles) from the sensor.

Designed to be installed and set up by non-specialist contractors, it comes complete with a power supply for the detector and the essential PC application – Lightning Works – for monitoring and warning of approaching thunderstorms.

  • Complete, out-of-the-box warning system with minimal installation. (Power and data cables available separately).
  • Fully automatic alarm triggering
  • Warns of the most dangerous (overhead) lightning risk even before the first lightning strike
  • Advanced, automatic self-test to ensure system operation
  • Accurate 35km (22miles) detection range
  • Detects cloud-to-ground, intra-cloud and cloud-to-cloud lightning
  • Detects charged precipitation and strong atmospheric electric fields
  • Compliance with EN50536:2011+/A1:2012 for a Class 1 detector
  • Performs in accordance with IEC62793 for a Class A detector

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Technical Description

Lightning Detection

The BTD-200 uses quasi-electrostatic measurements to avoid the problems associated with the detection of lightning using radio waves and to provide the ability to issue warnings prior to the first discharge of lightning. Virtually all commercially available lightning detection sensors and systems use the reception of radio waves generated by lightning discharges as the primary detection technique. Whilst providing a sensitive method of detection there are many other sources of radio waves such as arcs from electrical equipment, vehicle ignition systems and fixed or mobile transmitters which can result in high false alarm rates. Standalone radio based lightning detectors such as electric field mills and radio frequency detectors often employ secondary measurements such as optical flash detection in an attempt to reduce false alarms and employ complex signal analysis to estimate range. These techniques are only partially effective, giving these older technology lightning detectors a poor reputation due to their high false alarm rate and poor distance accuracy.

True Thunderstorm Detection

In many applications the lightning warning system is used to help protect people and equipment from the dangers of a lightning strike by providing advanced warning of a storm’s approach. This is all the more important in areas where large numbers of people are outdoors across a wide area enjoying a leisure activity (e.g. a golf course). Detectors which rely on lightning detection alone are only effective if the storm is already producing lightning at some distance before moving closer towards the detector. If the first lightning strike of the storm is overhead then these other systems can give no advanced warning and therefore no protection.

The advanced detection principle of the BTD-200 enables it to monitor the strength of the local electric field and the presence of charged precipitation, both of which are strong indicators of lightning risk. This allows the BTD-200 to provide warnings of the risk of an overhead strike even before any lightning has been produced. This advance warning can be up to 20 minutes before the lightning begins, giving more than enough time to alert staff, members, teams and the public to the risks of remaining out of doors.


There are many applications where the ability to reliably warn of the presence of thunderstorms can increase both safety and productivity. The leisure industry must consider the risks posed by thunderstorms to both customers and staff at outdoor events whether they are concerts, theme parks, sports stadia or golf courses. Reliable thunderstorm detection allows these operations to take the appropriate safety precautions only when necessary, protecting both life and revenues.

The System

The BTD-200 lightning warning system is a modular system which is designed to operate out-of-the-box, but is also expandable as requirements grow or change. The essential system comprises of a lightning detector which is placed outside, either on a tripod mount or permanently installed, whilst a PC located indoors runs the supplied Lightning Works software. The system includes a power supply and (optionally) the cabling to connect to the power and the host PC.

Lightning Works – Graphical Alarm Software

Included with the BTD-200 lightning warning system is the control and display software – Lightning Works. This comprehensive software package allows the user to configure the BTD-200 to meet their warning needs via user adjustable warning zones. It displays the lightning location in real-time on a map of the local area whilst displaying the current lightning alarm level. It offers the following features:

  • Multi-user capability, with up to 5 simultaneous users (one administrator, 4 view stations)
  • Map overlay showing lightning distance warning zones (user adjustable)
  • Current lightning warning state (shown in real-time)
  • Sensor health status display (ensures system is fully operational)
  • System configuration window
  • Automatic data logging of lightning events (for later data retrieval and review)


Lightning Detection Cloud-to-cloud, cloud-to-ground and intra-cloud lightning discharges
Thunderstorm activity for advanced warning of lightning Charged precipitation and strong electric field
Lightning detection range 35km (22 miles)
Range resolution 1km
Detection efficiency 95% for a single lightning flash
99% for a storm with 2 lightning flashes
99.9% for storm with 3 lightning flashes
For flashes within 35km
False alarm rate <2%
Maximum flash rate 120 per minute
Maximum update rate 2 seconds
User computer or Base Control Box Wired serial connection (RS422)
Wide Area Sounder Wired Serial connection (RS485)
Relays 3 Relays with volt free contacts. (Alert state, Warning state, Self-test). All relays 16Vac 35VDC 5A
Connection method Screw terminals
Supply voltage 9 to 30Vdc, 110/115 or 230/240Vac
Power consumption Less than 5W
Operating temperature -20°C to +50°C
Relative humidity 0 - 100%
Protection rating IP66
Wind speed 60m/s
Altitude -200m to 2,000m (-656ft to 6,561ft)
Shock and vibration Land based fixed installation
Weight 4.3kg (9.5lbs) Sensor only
EMC compliance with EN61326-1:2013 Industrial immunity, domestic emissions
RoHS and WEE compliant
Compliance with EN50536:2011+A1:2012 for a Class 1 detector
Performs in accordance with IEC 62793 for a Class A detector

Sales & Support

Contact Biral for more information

To find out more about this instrument or to discuss your application requirements please do not hesitate to contact Biral.

  • email (or use the Request More Information button below the product photograph)
  • Telephone to 01275 847787 (from the UK) or +44 1275 847787 (International)

After Sales Support

Biral offers free advice and technical support for the lifetime of the instruments we sell. Once you have purchased the unit you can always contact us for help using the links on our Technical Support page.

BTD-200 Micro Site

We’ve created a dedicated site for the BTD-200 Lightning Warning System which you can view by clicking the link below.

Visit BTD-200 Micro Site