National Academies Press: OpenBook

The Earth's Electrical Environment (1986)


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Suggested Citation:"FUTURE RESEARCH NEEDED FOR IMPROVEMENTS IN PROTECTION." National Research Council. 1986. The Earth's Electrical Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/898.
Page 68

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APPLICATION OF ADVANCES IN LIGHTNING RESEARCH TO LIGHTNING PROTECTION 68 circuit is shown for the grounding of a building associated with a communications tower. Figure 5.10b shows an external view of the building after topological shielding, and Figure 5.10c shows a schematic of the topological shielding technique. FUTURE RESEARCH NEEDED FOR IMPROVEMENTS IN PROTECTION The detailed physics of how lightning strikes a structure, power line, or aircraft is still not well understood. The approaching lightning leader is not influenced by the object to be struck until it is perhaps a few tens to hundreds of meters away. At that time, an upward-moving spark leaves the object to be struck eventually and similar sparks may also leave nearby objects. The upward-moving spark connects to the downward-moving leader attaching the leader to ground. (See Krider, Chapter 2, this volume, for a discussion of the attachment process.) When this process is better understood through basic research, we should be able to determine with higher probability what will and what will not be struck and to provide better lightning protection accordingly. For example, the positioning of overhead

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This latest addition to the Studies in Geophysics series explores in scientific detail the phenomenon of lightning, cloud, and thunderstorm electricity, and global and regional electrical processes. Consisting of 16 papers by outstanding experts in a number of fields, this volume compiles and reviews many recent advances in such research areas as meteorology, chemistry, electrical engineering, and physics and projects how new knowledge could be applied to benefit mankind.

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