Mecikalski, John; Jewett, Chris; Carey, Larry; Zavodsky, Brad; Stano, Geoffrey
Lightning one of the most dangerous weather-related phenomena, especially as many jobs and activities occur outdoors, presenting risk from a lightning strike. Cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning represents a considerable safety threat to people at airfields, marinas, and outdoor facilities-from airfield personnel, to people attending outdoor stadium events, on beaches and golf courses, to mariners, as well as emergency personnel. Holle et al. (2005) show that 90% of lightning deaths occurred outdoors, while 10% occurred indoors despite the perception of safety when inside buildings. Curran et al. (2000) found that nearly half of fatalities due to weather were related to convective weather in the 1992-1994 timeframe, with lightning causing a large component of the fatalities, in addition to tornadoes and flash flooding. Related to the aviation industry, CG lightning represents a considerable hazard to baggage-handlers, aircraft refuelers, food caterers, and emergency personnel, who all become exposed to the risk of being struck within short time periods while convective storm clouds develop. Airport safety protocols require that ramp operations be modified or discontinued when lightning is in the vicinity (typically 16 km), which becomes very costly and disruptive to flight operations. Therefore, much focus has been paid to nowcasting the first-time initiation and extent of lightning, both of CG and of any lightning (e.g, in-cloud, cloud-to-cloud). For this project three lightning nowcasting methodologies will be combined: (1) a GOESbased 0-1 hour lightning initiation (LI) product (Harris et al. 2010; Iskenderian et al. 2012), (2) a High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) lightning probability and forecasted lightning flash density product, such that a quantitative amount of lightning (QL) can be assigned to a location of expected LI, and (3) an algorithm that relates Pseudo-GLM data (Stano et al. 2012, 2014) to the so-called “lightning jump” (LJ) methodology (Shultz et al
Farges, T.; Millet, C.; Matoza, R. S.
It is well established that more than 2,000 thunderstorms occur continuously around the world and that about 45 lightning flashes are produced per second over the globe. More than two thirds (42) of the infrasound stations of the International Monitoring System (IMS) of the CTBTO (Comprehensive nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation) are now certified and routinely measure signals due to natural activity (e.g., airflow over mountains, aurora, microbaroms, surf, volcanoes, severe weather including lightning flashes, …). Some of the IMS stations are located where worldwide lightning detection networks (e.g. WWLLN) have a weak detection capability but lightning activity is high (e.g. Africa, South America). These infrasound stations are well localised to study lightning flash activity and its disparity, which is a good proxy for global warming. Progress in infrasound array data processing over the past ten years makes such lightning studies possible. For example, Farges and Blanc (2010) show clearly that it is possible to measure lightning infrasound from thunderstorms within a range of distances from the infrasound station. Infrasound from lightning can be detected when the thunderstorm is within about 75 km from the station. The motion of the squall zone is very well measured inside this zone. Up to 25% of lightning flashes can be detected with this technique, giving better results locally than worldwide lightning detection networks. An IMS infrasound station has been installed in Ivory Coast for 9 years. The lightning rate of this region is 10-20 flashes/km2/year from space-based instrument OTD (Christian et al., 2003). Ivory Coast is therefore a good place to study infrasound data associated with lightning activity and its temporal variation. First statistical results will be presented in this paper based on 4 years of data (2005-2009). For short lightning distances (less than 20 km), up to 60 % of lightning detected by WWLLN has been one-to-one correlated
Omidiora, M. A.; Lehtonen, M.
This paper deals with the effect of shield wires on lightning overvoltage reduction and the energy relief of MOV (Metal Oxide Varistor) arresters from direct strokes to distribution lines. The subject of discussion is the enhancement of lightning protection in Finnish distribution networks where lightning is most severe. The true index of lightning severity in these areas is based on the ground flash densities and return stroke data collected from the Finnish meteorological institute. The presented test case is the IEEE 34-node test feeder injected with multiple lightning strokes and simulated with the Alternative Transients Program/Electromagnetic Transients program (ATP/EMTP). Themore » response of the distribution line to lightning strokes was modeled with three different cases: no protection, protection with surge arresters and protection with a combination of shield wire and arresters. Simulations were made to compare the resulting overvoltages on the line for all the analyzed cases.« less
Convective rainfall is often a large source of error in retrospective modeling applications. In particular, positive rainfall biases commonly exist during summer months due to overactive convective parameterizations. In this study, lightning assimilation was applied in the Kain-Fritsch (KF) convective scheme to improve retrospective simulations using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The assimilation method has a straightforward approach: force KF deep convection where lightning is observed and, optionally, suppress deep convection where lightning is absent. WRF simulations were made with and without lightning assimilation over the continental United States for July 2012, July 2013, and January 2013. The simulations were evaluated against NCEP stage-IV precipitation data and MADIS near-surface meteorological observations. In general, the use of lightning assimilation considerably improves the simulation of summertime rainfall. For example, the July 2012 monthly averaged bias of 6 h accumulated rainfall is reduced from 0.54 to 0.07 mm and the spatial correlation is increased from 0.21 to 0.43 when lightning assimilation is used. Statistical measures of near-surface meteorological variables also are improved. Consistent improvements also are seen for the July 2013 case. These results suggest that this lightning assimilation technique has the potential to substantially improve simulation of warm-season rainfall in retrospective WRF applications. The
Convective rainfall is often a large source of error in retrospective modeling applications. In particular, positive rainfall biases commonly exist during summer months due to overactive convective parameterizations. In this study, lightning assimilation was applied in the Kain-Fritsch (KF) convective scheme to improve retrospective simulations using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The assimilation method has a straightforward approach: Force KF deep convection where lightning is observed and, optionally, suppress deep convection where lightning is absent. WRF simulations were made with and without lightning assimilation over the continental United States for July 2012, July 2013, and January 2013. The simulations were evaluated against NCEP stage-IV precipitation data and MADIS near-surface meteorological observations. In general, the use of lightning assimilation considerably improves the simulation of summertime rainfall. For example, the July 2012 monthly-averaged bias of 6-h accumulated rainfall is reduced from 0.54 mm to 0.07 mm and the spatial correlation is increased from 0.21 to 0.43 when lightning assimilation is used. Statistical measures of near-surface meteorological variables also are improved. Consistent improvements also are seen for the July 2013 case. These results suggest that this lightning assimilation technique has the potential to substantially improve simulation of warm-season rainfall in retrospective WRF appli
Grounding systems protect personnel and equipment by isolating faulted systems and dissipating transient currents. Lightning protection systems minimize the possible consequences of a direct strike by lightning. This volume focuses on design requirements of the grounding system and on present-day concepts used in the design of lightning protection systems. Various types of grounding designs are presented, and their advantages and disadvantages discussed. Safety, of course, is the primary concern of any grounding system. Methods are shown for grounding the non-current-carrying parts of electrical equipment to reduce shock hazards to personnel. Lightning protection systems are installed on tall structures (such asmore » chimneys and cooling towers) to minimize the possibility of structural damage caused by direct lightning strokes. These strokes may carry currents of 200,000 A or more. The volume examines the formation and characteristics of lightning strokes and the way stroke characteristics influence the design of lightning protection systems. Because a large portion of the grounding system is buried in soil or concrete, it is not readily accessible for inspection or repair after its installation. The volume details the careful selection and sizing of materials needed to ensure a long, maintenance-free life for the system. Industry standards and procedures for testing the adequacy of the grounding system are also discussed.« less
Bennett, Brian L.
Objective: The purpose of this paper is to present a model policy on lightning safety for athletic trainers. Background: Among college athletic programs in the United States there is a serious lack of written policy on lightning safety. Available evidence shows that most National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I institutions, even though they are located in high lightning activity areas of the country, do not have formal, written lightning safety policies. Clinical Advantages/ Recommendations: The policy presented herein, which is at the forefront of such policies, is the lightning safety policy written as part of a policies and procedures manual for the division of sports medicine at a public NCAA Division I university. This is a policy based on practicality that utilizes the “flash-to- bang” method for determining the distance of lightning activity from the observer. The policy begins with the importance of prevention, including the daily monitoring of weather reports. The policy defines a “safe shelter” and specifies the chain of command for determining who removes a team or individuals from an athletic site in the event of dangerous lightning activity. PMID:16558459
Boccippio, Dennis J.; Christian, Hugh J.
Optical sensors have been developed to detect lightning from space during both day and night. These sensors have been fielded in two existing satellite missions and may be included on a third mission in 2002. Satellite-hosted, optically-based lightning detection offers three unique capabilities: (1) the ability to reliably detect lightning over large, often remote, spatial regions, (2) the ability to sample all (IC and CG) lightning, and (3) the ability to detect lightning with uniform (i.e., not range-dependent) sensitivity or detection efficiency. These represent significant departures from conventional RF-based detection techniques, which typically have strong range dependencies (biases) or range limitations in their detection capabilities. The atmospheric electricity team of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center’s Global Hydrology and Climate Center has implemented a three-step satellite lightning research program which includes three phases: proof-of-concept/climatology, science algorithm development, and operational application. The first instrument in the program, the Optical Transient Detector (OTD), is deployed on a low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite with near-polar inclination, yielding global coverage. The sensor has a 1300 x 1300 sq km field of view (FOV), moderate detection efficiency, moderate localization accuracy, and little data bias. The OTD is a proof-of-concept instrument and its mission is primarily a global lightning climatology. The limited spatial accuracy of this instrument makes it suboptimal for use in case studies, although significant science knowledge has been gained from the instrument as deployed.
Schultz, Christopher J.; Petersen, Walter A.; Carey, Lawrence D.
In the past year, the primary objectives were to show the usefulness of total lightning as compared to traditional cloud-to-ground (CG) networks, test the lightning jump algorithm configurations in other regions of the country, increase the number of thunderstorms within our thunderstorm database, and to pinpoint environments that could prove difficult for any lightning jump configuration. A total of 561 thunderstorms have been examined in the past year (409 non-severe, 152 severe) from four regions of the country (North Alabama, Washington D.C., High Plains of CO/KS, and Oklahoma). Results continue to indicate that the 2 lightning jump algorithm configuration holds the most promise in terms of prospective operational lightning jump algorithms, with a probability of detection (POD) at 81%, a false alarm rate (FAR) of 45%, a critical success index (CSI) of 49% and a Heidke Skill Score (HSS) of 0.66. The second best performing algorithm configuration was the Threshold 4 algorithm, which had a POD of 72%, FAR of 51%, a CSI of 41% and an HSS of 0.58. Because a more complex algorithm configuration shows the most promise in terms of prospective operational lightning jump algorithms, accurate thunderstorm cell tracking work must be undertaken to track lightning trends on an individual thunderstorm basis over time. While these numbers for the 2 configuration are impressive, the algorithm does have its weaknesses. Specifically, low-topped and tropical cyclone thunderstorm environments are present issues for the 2 lightning jump algorithm, because of the suppressed vertical depth impact on overall flash counts (i.e., a relative dearth in lightning). For example, in a sample of 120 thunderstorms from northern Alabama that contained 72 missed events by the 2 algorithm 36% of the misses were associated with these two environments (17 storms).
López, Jesús A.; Pineda, Nicolau; Montanyà, Joan; Velde, Oscar van der; Fabró, Ferran; Romero, David
3D mapping system like the LMA – Lightning Mapping Array – are a leap forward in lightning observation. LMA measurements has lead to an improvement on the analysis of the fine structure of lightning, allowing to characterize the duration and maximum extension of the cloud fraction of a lightning flash. During several years of operation, the first LMA deployed in Europe has been providing a large amount of data which now allows a statistical approach to compute the full duration and horizontal extension of the in-cloud phase of a lightning flash. The “Ebro Lightning Mapping Array” (ELMA) is used in the present study. Summer and winter lighting were analyzed for seasonal periods (Dec-Feb and Jun-Aug). A simple method based on an ellipse fitting technique (EFT) has been used to characterize the spatio-temporal dimensions from a set of about 29,000 lightning flashes including both summer and winter events. Results show an average lightning flash duration of 440 ms (450 ms in winter) and a horizontal maximum length of 15.0 km (18.4 km in winter). The uncertainties for summer lightning lengths were about ± 1.2 km and ± 0.7 km for the mean and median values respectively. In case of winter lightning, the level of uncertainty reaches up to 1 km and 0.7 km of mean and median value. The results of the successful correlation of CG discharges with the EFT method, represent 6.9% and 35.5% of the total LMA flashes detected in summer and winter respectively. Additionally, the median value of lightning lengths calculated through this correlative method was approximately 17 km for both seasons. On the other hand, the highest median ratios of lightning length to CG discharges in both summer and winter were reported for positive CG discharges.
During the spring and summer of 2006, a network of eight lightning mapping stations has been set up in the greater DC metropolitan area to monitor the total lightning activity in storms over Virginia, Maryland and the Washington DC area. The network is a joint project between New Mexico Tech, NASA, and NOAA/National Weather Service, with real-time data being provided to the NWS for use in their forecast and warning operations. The network utilizes newly available portable stations developed with support from the National Science Foundation. Cooperating institutions involved in hosting mapping stations are Howard University, Montgomery County Community College in Rockville MD, NOAA/NWS’s Test and Evaluation Site in Sterling, VA, College of Southern Maryland near La Plata MD, the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University, Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, VA, the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, and George Mason University (Prince William Campus) in Manassas, VA. The network is experimental in that its stations a) operate in the upper rather than the lower VHF (TV channel 10, 192-198 MHz) to reduce the radio frequency background noise associated with urban environments, and b) are linked to the central processing site via the internet rather than by dedicated wireless communication links. The central processing is done in Huntsville, AL, and updated observations are sent to the National Weather Service every 2 min. The observational data will also be available on a public website. The higher operating frequency results in a decrease in signal strength estimated to be about 15-20 dB, relative to the LMA networks being operated in northern Alabama and central Oklahoma (which operate on TV channels 5 and 3, respectively). This is offset somewhat by decreased background noise levels at many stations. The receiver threshold levels range from about -95 dBm up to -80 dBm and the peak lightning signals typically extend 15-20 dB above
Goodman, Steven; Blakeslee, Richard; Koshak, William
The Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) is a single channel, near-IR optical detector, used to detect, locate and measure total lightning activity over the full-disk as part of a 3-axis stabilized, geostationary weather satellite system. The next generation NOAA Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-R) series with a planned launch in 2014 will carry a GLM that will provide continuous day and night observations of lightning from the west coast of Africa (GOES-E) to New Zealand (GOES-W) when the constellation is fully operational. The mission objectives for the GLM are to 1) provide continuous, full-disk lightning measurements for storm warning and Nowcasting, 2) provide early warning of tornadic activity, and 3) accumulate a long-term database to track decadal changes of lightning. The GLM owes its heritage to the NASA Lightning Imaging Sensor (1997-Present) and the Optical Transient Detector (1995-2000), which were developed for the Earth Observing System and have produced a combined 11 year data record of global lightning activity. Instrument formulation studies begun in January 2006 will be completed in March 2007, with implementation expected to begin in September 2007. Proxy total lightning data from the NASA Lightning Imaging Sensor on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite, airborne science missions (e.g., African Monsoon Multi-disciplinary Analysis, AMMA), and regional test beds (e.g, Lightning Mapping Arrays) are being used to develop the pre-launch algorithms and applications, and also improve our knowledge of thunderstorm initiation and evolution. Real time lightning mapping data now being provided to selected forecast offices will lead to improved understanding of the application of these data in the severe storm warning process and accelerate the development of the pre-launch algorithms and Nowcasting applications. Proxy data combined with MODIS and Meteosat Second Generation SEVERI observations will also lead to new
Koshak, William J.; Peterson, Harold
The NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Lightning Nitrogen Oxides Model (LNOM) is applied to August 2006 North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) data to estimate the raw (i.e., unmixed and otherwise environmentally unmodified) vertical profile of lightning nitrogen oxides, NOx = NO + NO 2 . This is part of a larger effort aimed at building a more realistic lightning NOx emissions inventory for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) modeling system. Data from the National Lightning Detection Network TM (NLDN) is also employed. Overall, special attention is given to several important lightning variables including: the frequency and geographical distribution of lightning in the vicinity of the LMA network, lightning type (ground or cloud flash), lightning channel length, channel altitude, channel peak current, and the number of strokes per flash. Laboratory spark chamber results from the literature are used to convert 1-meter channel segments (that are located at a particular known altitude; i.e., air density) to NOx concentration. The resulting raw NOx profiles are discussed.
Lay, Erin Hoffmann
In this dissertation, the capabilities of the World-Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN) are analyzed in order to study the interactions of lightning energy with the lower ionosphere. WWLLN is the first global ground-based lightning location network and the first lightning detection network that continuously monitors lightning around the world in real time. For this reason, a better characterization of the WWLLN could allow many global atmospheric science problems to be addressed, including further investigation into the global electric circuit and global mapping of regions of the lower ionosphere likely to be impacted by strong lightning and transient luminous events. This dissertation characterizes the World-Wide Location Network (WWLLN) in terms of detection efficiency, location and timing accuracy, and lightning type. This investigation finds excellent timing and location accuracy for WWLLN. It provides the first experimentally-determined estimate of relative global detection efficiency that is used to normalize lightning counts based on location. These normalized global lightning data from the WWLLN are used to map intense storm regions around the world with high time and spatial resolution as well as to provide information on energetic emissions known as elves and terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs). This dissertation also improves WWLLN by developing a procedure to provide the first estimate of relative lightning stroke radiated energy in the 1-24 kHz frequency range by a global lightning detection network. These characterizations and improvements to WWLLN are motivated by the desire to use WWLLN data to address the problem of lightning-to-ionosphere energy coupling. Therefore, WWLLN stroke rates are used as input to a model, developed by Professor Mengu Cho at the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan, that describes the non-linear effect of lightning electromagnetic pulses (EMP) on the ionosphere by accumulating electron density changes resulting
Clark, Austin; Cecil, Daniel
The El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) contributes to inter-annual variability of lightning production more than any other atmospheric oscillation. This study further investigated how ENSO phase affects lightning production in the tropics and subtropics using the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS). Lightning data were averaged into mean annual warm, cold, and neutral ‘years’ for analysis of the different phases and compared to model reanalysis data. An examination of the regional sensitivities and preliminary analysis of three locations was conducted using model reanalysis data to determine the leading convective mechanisms in these areas and how they might respond to the ENSO phases
Bitzer, P. M.; Koshak, W. J.
We present results detailing an emerging application of space-based measurement of lightning: the electrical energy. This is a little-used attribute of lightning data which can have applications for severe weather, lightning physics, and wildfires. In particular, we use data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Lightning Imaging Sensor (TRMM/LIS) to find the temporal and spatial variations in the detected spectral energy density. This is used to estimate the total lightning electrical energy, following established methodologies. Results showing the trend in time of the electrical energy, as well as the distribution around the globe, will be highlighted. While flashes have been typically used in most studies, the basic scientifically-relevant measured unit by LIS is the optical group data product. This generally corresponds to a return stroke or IC pulse. We explore how the electrical energy varies per LIS group, providing an extension and comparison with previous investigations. The result is an initial climatology of this new and important application of space-based optical measurements of lightning, which can provide a baseline for future applications using the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM), the European Lightning Imager (LI), and the International Space Station Lightning Imaging Sensor (ISS/LIS) instruments.
Johnson, Dale L.; Vaughan, William W.
A summary is presented of basic lightning characteristics/criteria for current and future NASA aerospace vehicles. The paper estimates the probability of occurrence of a 200 kA peak lightning return current, should lightning strike an aerospace vehicle in various operational phases, i.e., roll-out, on-pad, launch, reenter/land, and return-to-launch site. A literature search was conducted for previous work concerning occurrence and measurement of peak lighting currents, modeling, and estimating probabilities of launch vehicles/objects being struck by lightning. This paper presents these results.
Burks, Jason E.; Stano, Geoffrey T.; Sperow, Ken
Total lightning (intra-cloud and cloud-to-ground) has been widely researched and shown to be a valuable tool to aid real-time warning forecasters in the assessment of severe weather potential of convective storms. The trend of total lightning has been related to the strength of a storm’s updraft. Therefore a rapid increase in total lightning signifies the strengthening of the parent thunderstorm. The assessment of severe weather potential occurs in a time limited environment and therefore constrains the use of total lightning. A tool has been developed at NASA’s Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) Center to assist in quickly analyzing the total lightning signature of multiple storms. The development of this tool comes as a direct result of forecaster feedback from numerous assessments requesting a real-time display of the time series of total lightning. This tool also takes advantage of the new architecture available within the AWIPS II environment. SPoRT’s lightning tracking tool has been tested in the Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) Spring Program and significant changes have been made based on the feedback. In addition to the updates in response to the HWT assessment, the lightning tracking tool may also be extended to incorporate other requested displays, such as the intra-cloud to cloud-to-ground ratio as well as incorporate the lightning jump algorithm.
Wei, Tao; Duan, Fei
We investigate the nonlinear dynamics and stability of an evaporating liquid layer subject to vapor recoil, capillarity, thermocapillarity, ambient cooling, viscosity, and negative or positive gravity combined with buoyancy effects in the lubrication approximation. Using linear theory, we identify the mechanisms of finite-time rupture, independent of thermocapillarity and direction of gravity, and predict the effective growth rate of an interfacial perturbation which reveals competition among the mechanisms. A stability diagram is predicted for the onset of long-wave (LW) evaporative convection. In the two-dimensional simulation, we observe well-defined capillary ridges on both sides of the valley under positive gravity and main and secondary droplets under negative gravity, while a ridge can be trapped in a large-scale drained region in both cases. Neglecting the other non-Boussinesq effects, buoyancy does not have a significant influence on interfacial evolution and rupture time but makes contributions to the evaporation-driven convection and heat transfer. The average Nusselt number is found to increase with a stronger buoyancy effect. The flow field and interface profile jointly manifest the LW Marangoni-Rayleigh-Bénard convection under positive gravity and the LW Marangoni convection under negative gravity. In the three-dimensional simulation of moderate evaporation with a random perturbation, the rupture patterns are characterized by irregular ridge networks with distinct height scales for positive and negative gravity. A variety of interfacial and internal dynamics are displayed, depending on evaporation conditions, gravity, Marangoni effect, and ambient cooling. Reasonable agreement is found between the present results and the reported experiments and simulations. The concept of dissipative compacton also sheds light on the properties of interfacial fractalization.
Starr, Stan; Sharp, David; Merceret, Francis; Madura, John; Murphy, Martin
NASA, at the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), developed and operates a unique high precision lightning location system to provide lightning related weather warnings. These warnings are used to stop lightning-sensitive operations such as space vehicle launches and ground operations where equipment and personnel are at risk. The data is provided to the Range Weather Operations [45th Weather Squadron, U. S. Air Force (USAF)] where it is used with other meteorological data to issue weather advisories and warnings for Cape Canaveral Air Station (CCAS) and KSC operations. This system, called Lightning Detection and Ranging (LDAR), provides users with a graphical display in three dimensions of 66 MHz radio frequency events generated by lightning processes. The locations of these events provide a sound basis for the prediction of lightning hazards. NASA and Global Atmospherics, Inc. are developing a new system that will replace the unique LDAR components with commercially available and maintainable components having improved capabilities. These components will be phased in to ensure full continuity and access to this important warning technology. These LDAR systems are expected to eventually be available for installation and use by the public at specialized facilities, such as airports, and for general weather warnings via the National Weather Service (NWS) or television broadcast. The NWS in Melbourne has had access to real-time LDAR data since 1993 on an experimental basis. This use of LDAR has shown promise for the improvement of aviation forecasts and severe weather warnings. More so, it has opened the door to investigate the feasibility of issuing lightning-related public advisories. The success of its early use suggests that this technology may improve safety and potentially save lives, therefore constituting a significant benefit to the public. This paper describes the LDR system, the plans and progress of these upgrades, and the potential benefits of its use.