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NexStorm™ is a Microsoft® Windows® lightning detection interface application for the Boltek™ Corporation line of lightning detectors.

NexStorm™ seamlessly combines advanced analysis and display features with Internet integration and interprocess communication functionality in ways that makes this application not only unique, but also the most versatile and flexible software package for lightning detection that you will find.

Individuals and organizations who want to display their Boltek lightning data on the Internet in near real-time, or want to have the option of easy real-time data extraction or customized presentation in various forms will find this software package especially attractive.

Add to this the superb thunderstorm locating accuracy, extensive analysis capabilities, professionally designed user interface, no nonsense display of information, superior software support and, not to mention, our added-value StrikeStar™ program, and you'll quickly understand why most lightning detection enthusiasts choose NexStorm™ as their primary lightning display interface!

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User Interface and Presentation
  • Professionally designed and intuitive graphical user interface. After you have installed our software, your system will be detecting lightning within minutes! (provided there is some lightning in your area, of course)

  • No nonsense presentation of data - The layout of the different lightning strike counters and classification statistics displayed in the NexStorm™ main window (and StormVue™) follows the principle of recognition across views. This means that fellow storm tracking enthusiasts and others looking at your data, when it's published on a web site for instance, will know exactly what information they are looking at.

  • Quick access to different parts of the program through extensive use of shortcut keys and interactive (clickable) main window.

Analysis features
  • TRAC (Thunderstorm Ranging and ACquisition) - Intelligent, fuzzy logic type subprocess for ranging and tracking of individual storm cells. Features tagged, color coded storm cell target plots on the map, high locating accuracy of individual storm cells, as well as quick data analysis via the point-and-click TRAC pop-up dialog - including a 10 minute strike rate mini-graph for visualization of the intensity variations in individual storm cells

  • A TRAC report dialog which contains detailed information about each storm cell that the software is currently tracking. NexStorm™ can be configured to export plain text reports at regular intervals, and to automatically upload them to a web site

  • Highly accurate classification of CG and IC stroke types and polarities for Boltek ISA and PCI type detectors, using signal processing algorithms based on latest research findings in the field of lightning physics science

  • First-rate close storm distance ranging. Average storm location accuracy inside 30 km (18 mi) distance radius for a well calibrated system is less than ±5 km (±3.1 mi), thanks to the sophisticated Noise Ranging Assist feature

  • First-rate overall storm distance ranging - as accurate as you will get with a single sensor lightning detection system!

  • A symbol generator with 27 different strike symbols which can be drawn in a multitude of colors and different sizes, provides for more flexibility than you'll ever need

  • Color coded display of aged data. Strikes aged up to 300 minutes can be displayed on the map and color coded in seven different colors representing time interval of occurence

  • A strike history color code legend can optionally be superimposed on to the map. The legend will automatically adjust itself to reflect your current configuration settings

  • Lightning Density Plot mode - See exactly where your system is detecting the strongest areas of thunderstorm activity. No confusing, artificially looking pie-slice shaped storm areas streching over hundreds of kilometers or miles, making it virtually impossible for you to see where the core lightning activity is located

  • A lightning density plot color code legend can optionally be superimposed on to the map. The legend will automatically adjust itself to reflect your current configuration settings

  • Optional Uncorrelated strikes filter will eliminate sporadic strike plots from the map, making the information much more readable during intense lightning activity. No data is discarded with this filter (or ever, for that matter)! Other products have degraded detection efficiency because of discarding data that doesn't fit certain parameters. NexStorm™ will detect and track even the weakest storms!

  • 60 minute strike rate trend graphs for total and close activity

  • Display range up to 1200 kilometers (750 miles) radius. Actual detection efficiency at distances greater than 500 km (300 mi) will depend on antenna mounting height and location relative elevated terrain or tall buildings. May also vary with daily and seasonal variations in atmospheric conditions

  • Range zoom function from 1200km (750mi) down to 25km (16mi)

  • Automatic zoom function with two modes. The first mode will make NexStorm™ automatically zoom in on the lightning activity closest to center. The second mode will set the closest possible zoom level which encompasses all lightning activity visible on the map

  • Special LD-250 operating mode which relays information from any NMEA compatible GPS or other device that is connected to your LD-250 lightning detector. While you are chasing storms, your current heading, speed and altitude are displayed in real time on the NexStorm™ user interface. Also included is a resetable trip odometer and "satellites in view" indicator. LD-250 specific features have been extensively tested on the road, under actual storm chasing conditions!

  • Optional on-map heading indicator available when an NMEA compatible GPS or compass is connected to the LD-250

  • Concurrently running Replay that does not affect the live lightning detection. The Replay has a continuous mode, which can replay the last 30 or 60 minutes of the current hour, or archive mode where older archives are loaded into memory and replayed within a time interval that you specify. The Replay feature is also perfectly suited for distance ranging calibrations of your system

Sound and alarm features
  • Configurable, audible Close storm or strike alarm, General severe storm alarm, and Severe storm cell alarm

  • Configurable strike event alert and noise event sound

  • Use PC speaker generated sounds (32 bit Windows only) or sampled WAVE sounds for alerts and alarms.

  • The strike alert sound can be set to not trigger for lightning activity occuring outside a specific range

Data exporting
  • Real-time FlashGate data feeds. Strike and storm tracking data is communicated to external applications live via Windows shared memory. This allows external applications to display real-time lightning data using a customized presentation.

  • Built-in, programmable screen capture of the entire user interface or the map area only. No need to have NexStorm™ occupy your desktop, the program can be minimized to the system tray while the screen captures are performed in-memory! Screen shots can be saved in PNG (8 or 24 bit colors), Windows BMP or JPEG format. The JPEG format additionally comes with adjustable compression level

  • Fully automated data archive export. Use the StormVue™ Java™ applet or, if you are a software developer, your own software application for displaying the data online, thereby reducing bandwidth consumption compared to uploading of static screenshot images. The format of the binary export archive is fully documented in the user manual

  • Programmable FTP upload of the export archive, screen capture, or both

  • Programmable File Copy of the export archive, screen capture or both. Instead of uploading to a web server you can choose to transfer the relevant export files to a different folder on your local disk or to a mapped network drive

Core functionality
  • NexStorm™ is officially supported on Windows XP/Vista/7/8 but will run on any Windows version. Minimum requirements are same as for the installed operating system. For optimal performance we recommend Windows 7 or 8, 32 or 64 bit.

  • Supports the full line of Boltek detectors, including StormTracker PCI, LD-250 and LD-350

  • Multi-threaded design with ridiculously low CPU usage, even during the most intense thunderstorm activity.

  • On multi-core processors, NexStorm™ will by default only execute on one core, thereby freeing up remaining cores for other tasks. All while maintaining the astonishingly low CPU usage.

  • Highly optimized and efficient memory managment for 24/7/365 trouble free operations on any system. No need to fiddle with the program to keep it running, or to perform daily system reboots. NexStorm™ is rock steady and will easily run for thousands of hours unattended!

    (Several of our customers have jokingly remarked that our software is too stable! After leaving it running uninterrupted for hundreds of days detecting lightning and uploading the information to the Internet, they have simply forgotten how to use many of the available features!)

  • Continuous data archiving for later replay, analysis and calibration

  • The archive "Move upon completion" feature allows for automatic relocation of finalized daily archives to a different folder

  • Use any BMP or JPEG image as your background map...

  • ...or purchase the very affordable Composite Vector Map for optimal presentation of your lightning data. Each CVM map is custom made, centered and projected on your location. With a CVM installed, all the available zoom levels can be exported as BMP images. This allows you to further customize your maps manually and to create background maps for StormVue™ or other applications requiring it. A CVM map will always cover the entire NexStorm™ view range

  • Each map zoom level allows the use of one custom map scaled and adapted for that particular range. By using this feature with your own background maps, you can avoid the dreaded pixelation artefacts which will normally show up when a raster based image is over-magnified

  • Antenna polar alignment correction, plus or minus 90° angular offset with one degree azimuthal resolution. Also includes X-Y swap for complete reversal. You can mount your Boltek™ receiver antenna pointed in any direction and compensate for the offset from North via NexStorm™ settings. The change is instantaneous and visible on the map while you are adjusting

  • Three ranging calibration methods, from the instantaneous, quick-and-dirty Plot Scale Adjustment to the more complex General Ranging adjustment and the sectionalized Ranging Kernel, gives you full control over the distance ranging calibration process. Additionally, the Night time ranging upshift with its built in sunrise/sunset calculator provides a dynamic ranging adjustment method which can be used to compensate for the nightly ionospheric D-layer changes and subsequent too close ranging of distant thunderstorms during night time

Extras
  • StormVue™ Java™ applet included. This interactive and lightweight applet is suitable for dynamic presentation of lightning data on the Internet or LAN. With its animation capability and zoom controls, it will give your web site visitors a much better understanding of the intensity and movement of thunderstorms compared to when showing this information using static screenshot images only

  • NexMap utility software included - Simple but competent image scaling and centering application, intended to help you prepare your own background maps for use in NexStorm™

  • NXUtil command line utility included - NexStorm™ daily archive extraction utility with a lot of options. As an example, using NXUtil you can create StormVue™ compatible export archives for displaying historical, animated lightning data on your web site

  • C++ Sourcecode demonstrating how to access the FlashGate IPC - Strike interface
Software support
  • As the majority of our users will attest to, we offer a first class software support! In the extremely unlikely event that you stumble upon a problem with our software, we will normally start investigating - and most likely find a solution - within 24 hours after receiving your report. Additionally, our support forum with its hundreds of experienced NexStorm™ users contains a wealth of information and is available around the clock.
Freeware version
  • Boltek detectors are normally shipped with NexStorm Lite, the scaled down free version of NexStorm. If you don't have NexStorm Lite it can be downloaded here. This is a fully functional lightning detection software with no restrictions! And you can try it for as long as you want - no strings attached.

NexStorm is available for purchase in our webshop!
Web shop link
The NexStorm™ Advantage >>
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