Browse Publications Technical Papers 2004-01-3236

Study of Lightning Effects in Aircraft 2004-01-3236

Lightning is a high voltage and high current phenomenon and it originates by build up of electrical charge in the air or, more commonly, in clouds. It is constituted of an electric current peak of short duration (0,5 ms) and high intensity (200 kA), followed by a low intensity (400 A) but high duration (1s) periods. The lightning effects in aircraft can be divided in two groups: direct effects (physical effects such as melting, rupture, damage of surfaces and structures due to conduction of lightning current or high power magnetic force) and indirect effects (electromagnetic fields generating levels of transient voltage and current on interconnecting wiring and cable leads within the equipment circuits eventually damaging internal components). The objective of this work is present and discuss the lightning effects and, subsequently, possible lightning protection applied to aircrafts by establishing adequate conductive paths for lightning current to flow through the aircraft structure and skin, without cause catastrophic damage, between possible lightning entry and exit points and control of all of the effects due to electromagnetic fields with no hazard to flight safety and operational reliability.


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