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Determination of the Striking Distance of Lightning to Earthed Structures

Petrov, N. and Waters, Ronald 1995. Determination of the Striking Distance of Lightning to Earthed Structures. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 450 (1940) , pp. 589-601. 10.1098/rspa.1995.0102

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A theoretical determination based upon a critical charge criterion and ionization processes is presented of the striking distance rs at which the upward leader is initiated from a struck object. The striking distance is shown to be leader-current dependent in the form rs ∝ i2/3. Comparisons are made with earlier, more numerically based models, which used an alternative equivalent-radius approach. The altitude dependence of the striking distance is also investigated. Since pressure, absolute humidity and temperature decrease with increasing altitude, the variation of streamer properties with altitude can be inferred from laboratory experiments. Calculations on this basis show that the striking distance increases significantly with increasing altitude, causing a corresponding increase in the risk of lightning strikes for given structures in mountain or aviation environments.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Subjects: T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Publisher: The Royal Society Publishing
ISSN: 13645021
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2017 11:34

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