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GPATS lightning detection centre.

Australian company Global Position and Tracking Systems Pty. Ltd. (GPATS) was founded with the mission of developing, manufacturing, selling and supporting lightning location networks. In mid-2017, US-based global lightning detection network company TOA Systems, Inc. assumed responsibility for the GPATS Australian lightning network infrastructure and Global Position and Tracking Systems Pty Ltd has been closed. MetraWeather Australia Pty Ltd is now the exclusive reseller of TOA Systems' GPATS lightning data in Australia. TOA and MetraWeather are focused on providing their clients with the most accurate, affordable and reliable lightning detection and warning systems available today.

TOA Systems, a sister company of GPATS, has more than 20 years of experience in designing, manufacturing, installing and supporting lightning location systems. TOA Systems' beginnings were back in 1983 under Dr. Rodney B. Bent, the founder and a pioneer of Time-of-Arrival science. Dr. Bent is globally recognised as the man who pioneered and patented the use of Time-of-Arrival technology in lightning location applications during the 1980s. His Time-of-Arrival lightning network technology was the first to be installed across the USA and thereby establish a national lightning detection network. The U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) subsequently awarded a contract to acquire the data from this network. This lightning location system, the Lightning Position & Tracking System (LPATS), was also installed in 16 countries around the world and is today still used in Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan and many other countries. TOA Systems has scored major successes in Australia and international markets since its initial founding, as a leading supplier of lightning detection network solutions worldwide.

Dr. Rodney Bent has over 35 years of experience in atmospheric and space physics, with particular emphasis on lightning protection and atmospheric electricity. He has held a senior position with the United Kingdom Government in space physics on lightning investigation and detection, which involved international inter-agency scientific liaison work. Dr. Bent has travelled extensively throughout the world giving scientific papers and holding discussions with many leading scientists. He has over 80 scientific publications in leading journals and is a member of the British National Committee for Scientific Radio 1967-1974. Dr. Bent is an elected member of the International Commission of Atmospheric Electricity, Lightning Sub commission 1970-1975 and was elected Secretary of the Lightning and Sferic Sub commission in 1975. He has presented many technical papers to universities and national organisations on various topics of lightning and surge physics. Dr. Bent acted as a consultant on lightning physics to the U.S. Government and other large corporations. He was elected to be a member of the Lightning Institute Code Committee. In 1980, Dr. Bent was elected to the U.S. Standard Lightning Protection Code Committee, NFPA81, and in 1981, was elected as the U.S. delegate to the International Electro-technical Committee technical group on lightning and surge protection, which was developing a worldwide standard.

Dr. Bent works closely with the leading scientists around the world on all aspects of lightning physics. One of Dr. Bent's major achievements is the work he has performed on lightning location and detection techniques. His patents on this technology and the Lightning Position and Tracking System (LPATS) have brought him worldwide recognition in this field. LPATS was installed in 16 countries around the world on six continents. In the early 1970s, the British native started a company in Florida USA, Atlantic Scientific Corp., that designed and built lightning detection systems and surge protectors. He later sold the surge protection part of the business and in 1982 started Atmospheric Research Systems Inc. (ARSI). In addition, Dr. Bent started GPATS in Australia in 1996, followed by TOA Systems, Inc. in 2002 with his son, co-owner and company President Timothy Bent.