Lightning Phenomena and Lightning Protection

Lightning is impressive and dangerous.

Lightning is impressive and dangerous. It fascinates us, and every year it kills thousands, injures many more, and causes billions of euros of damage. Many of its underlying processes are understood at most qualitatively, and many questions remain. How do thunderstorms generate the X-rays, gamma-rays and antimatter observed from satellites, ground and aircraft? How do lightning leaders propagate? And where and how do they attach to objects (such as wind turbines, airplanes, or helicopters) and cause damage?

Our partners in this research domain represent a wide range of experimental and observational techniques. The Multiscale Dynamics group develops numerical models of discharge growth on several scales of space, time and energy, and systematic model reduction between the models on different scales. These micro-based and hence quantitative models can predict a growing range of phenomena and replace experiments that are expensive or otherwise impossible.

Our research showcases fascinating lightning phenomena for the interested public, while our models contribute to the lightning protection of structures such as wind turbines, airplanes, helicopters, high buildings, railways, ships and industrial compounds.

Contact person: Ute Ebert
Research group: Multiscale Dynamics (MD)
Research partners: Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering at TU/e, KVI-CART, LOFAR, ASIM-mission to the International Space Station (coordinated by ESA-ESTEC), European Innovative Training Network on 'Science and Innovation with Thunderstorms' (SAINT) with beneficiaries at Danish Technical University (DK), University of Bath (UK), Polytechnic University of Catalonia (ES), University of Bergen (NO), University of Toulouse (FR), Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (ES), TU/e (NL), Bristol Industrial and Research Associates (UK), Dena Desarrollos SL (ES).