Phillip Bitzer

"fundmentally advancing our ability to measure and understand lightning"

lightning


bitzer2

Assistant Professor

Office: NSSTC Rm. 4012
Phone: 256.961.7948
Email: pm.bitzer@uah.edu 

Research Interests

  • Lightning initiation
  • Lightning Mapping Arrays
  • Dual polarimetric radar
  • Geostationary Lightning Mapper

 

 

Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Physics; Magma Cum Laude, August 2001
    • Loyola University, New Orleans, LA
  • Master of Science, Physics; August 2007
    • University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL
  • Doctorate, Physics
    • University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL
    • In progress - anticipated graduation May 2011

Experience

Research Associate 2010 - 2011

Earth System Science Center, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL

  • Continued development of Huntsville Alabama Field Change Array (HAFCA)

Graduate Research Assistant January 2006-May 2010

Lightning Research Group, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL

  • Developed, calibrated, and tested Huntsville Alabama Field Change Array (HAFCA)
  • Developed comprehensive GUI in IDL to analyze electric field change measurements from several stations
  • Researched the connection between the initiation of lighting radiation and dual polarimetric radar

Graduate Teaching Assistant August 2005-January 2006

Department of Physics, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL

  • Astronomy, graded homework and tests

Publications

  • Liang, C.; B.E. Carlson; P.M. Bitzer; H.J. Christian; N. G. Lehtinen, U. S. Inan
    Study of field change array data with time domain fractal lightning modeling
    Proceedings of the 2012 National Radio Science Meeting, Boulder, Colorado, United States
  • Bitzer, P.M.; H.J. Christian; J. Latham
    Exploration of lightning initiation using VHF and wideband electric field measurements
    In preparation, Journal of Geophysical Research.
  • Bitzer, P.M.; H.J. Christian; M. Stewart; J. Burchfield; S. Podgorny; D. Corredor; J. Hall; E. Kuznetsov; V. Franklin
    Determining wideband source locations from lightning using the Huntsville Alabama Marx Meter Array
    In submission, Journal of Geophysical Research.
  • Carlson, B.E.; C. Liang; P.M. Bitzer; H.J. Christian; N.G. Lehtinen; U.S. Inan (2011)
    Interpretation of field change array data with time domain fractal lightning modelings
    Proceedings of the 2011 AGU Fall Meeting. San Francisco, United States.
  • Burchfield, J.; P.M. Bitzer; V. Franklin; H.J. Christian (2011)
    Performance of the Huntsville, Alabama Marx Meter Array
    Proceedings of the 2011 AGU Fall Meeting. San Francisco, United States.
  • Bitzer, P.M.; H.J. Christian; J. Latham (2011)
    Characterizing Lightning Initiation Regions in Thunderstorms
    Proceedings of the 2011 International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Burchfield, J.; P.M. Bitzer, H.J. Christian (2011)
    Comparison of Huntsville Alabama Marx Meter Array Results With NLDN and LIS
    Proceedings of the 2011 International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Bitzer, P.M.; H.J. Christian; J. Burchfield (2010)
    Lightning Location Using Electric Field Change Meters
    Proceedings of the 2010 AGU Fall Meeting. San Francisco, United States.
  • Burchfield, J.; P.M. Bitzer, V. Franklin; H.J. Christian (2010)
    An Analysis of the Distance Dependence of Measured Peak Electric Fields from Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Return Strokes
    Proceedings of the 2010 AGU Fall Meeting. San Francisco, United States.
  • Bitzer, P.M., H.J. Christian; M. Stewart; J. Burchfield (2009)
    Initial Results From the Huntsville, Alabama Field Change Array
    Proceedings of the 2009 AGU Fall Meeting. San Francisco, United States.
  • Bitzer, P.M.; H.J. Christian; J. Latham (2007)
    Hydrometeor Environments Near Lightning Centroids and the Impact on Initial Break-down
    Proceedings of the 2007 AGU Fall Meeting. San Francisco, United States.

Courses

ATS 690, Lightning, 3 credits

This course will provide an introduction to current lightning research. Basic lightning phenomenology will be discussed, as well as thunderstorm electrification in general. Different methods of detecting lightning will be covered, as well as applications of lightning measurements to other areas of research. Further, rudimentary models of lightning processes will be explored. Other topics that are of particular interest to students will be considered. After this course, students will be able to:

  1. Qualitatively and quantitatively discuss different aspects of the lightning discharge
  2. Describe electrification of thunderstorms
  3. Explain how lightning varies on different spatial and temporal scales
  4. Compare and contrast current methods of measuring lightning and how this is applied to other weather phenomena

ATS 690, Statistics