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Electric field mills are used to measure the vertical component of the electric
field as the aircraft flies in the vicinity of electrified clouds. The dynamic
range of these instruments extends from the fair weather fields (a few tens of
V/m) to large thunderstorm fields (thousands of V/m). Using these field mills,
it is possible to detect both intracloud and cloud-to-ground lightning from the
abrupt electric field changes in the data.

From: MSFC/GHRC Glossary of terms:

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