Lightning Protection Design Methodology for a Very Large Non Rigid Airship 2001-01-2931
Successful lightning protection design is important for the CargoLifter CL 160 large non-rigid transport airship. Non-rigid airships, like balloons, have few hard structures so alternative means need to be designed to collect and conduct lightning currents. The helium lifting gas ionizes at one third the field intensity required for air so spark formation in ambient electric fields is more likely to originate inside a helium filled envelope than in the air outside of it. Protection development is being accomplished by a combination of high voltage strike attachment tests on scale models, and numerical analyses of electric fields.