A COMPARISON OF NATURAL LIGHTNING AND THE LONG LABORATORY SPARK WITH APPLICATION TO LIGHTNING TESTING
WESTINGHOUSE RESEARCH LABS PITTSBURGH PA
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Laboratory sparks a few meters in length can be used to simulate lightning current rates-of-rise and peak values and to simulate some of the temporal characteristics of the lightning channel temperature. Long spark generators are inadequate for producing a simulation of the continuing current phase of lightning. Long sparks cannot be used to produce a simulation of the shock wave due to lightning except in that the spark data can be scaled by theory to predict the characteristics of the lightning shock wave. A short discussion is given of the several types of lightning which might be encountered by an aircraft. The validity of long-spark testing in determining the likely points of strike of a lightning discharge to an aircraft or other structure is briefly considered.
- Atmospheric Physics