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Title: Lightning Protection System To Indian Satellite Launch Pads : Stroke Classification And Evaluation Of Current In The Intercepted Strokes
Authors: Hegde, Vishwanath
Advisors: Kumar, Udaya
Keywords: Satellite Launch Vehicle
Lightning Protection
Lightning Protection System (LPS)
Intercepted Strokes
Tower Base Currents
Induced Currents
Bypass Strokes
Down Conductors
Submitted Date: Nov-2006
Series/Report no.: G20565
Abstract: Satellites have become absolute necessity in the growing modern space technology. At present, launch pads are the only means for launching of satellites or any other space vehicles. Due to the large magnitude of current and the associated rate of rise, a lightning strike to launch pads can be quite disastrous. Satellite launch complex forms typically the tallest object in that region. This makes them the more vulnerable to cloud-to-ground lightning. In addition, most of the launch pads are situated near the coastal area, where the isokeraunic levels are quite high. In view of these, almost all the satellite launch pads are provided with suitable Lightning Protection Systems (LPS). The LPS is basically intended for protecting against a direct lightning hit. The present work is related with the LPS to Indian satellite launch pads, Pad-I and Pad-II. The protection system for Pad-I consists of three 120 m tall towers placed approximately at the vertices of an equilateral triangle of 180 m. The same for Pad-II consist of 120 m tall towers placed at vertices of rectangle of size 90 m x 105 m. Towers are interconnected by 6 shield wires at the top. A mast of 10m length forms the top of the tower. Significant work on the analysis of interception efficacy of these protection systems has been reported in the literature. The lightning surge response of these systems have also been analysed and reported. The interception efficacy of these LPS in field can be ascertained by pertinent measurements. Measuring the lightning current on LPS seems to be one of the most suitable choices for this purpose. It would also greatly facilitate collection of local lightning current statistics, data on which is almost absent. Several considerations suggest that the tower bases form ideal place for such measurement. However, such lightning current records would involve mainly the current resulting from stroke interception, as well as, induced current due to strokes nearby. Literature on categorisation of measured currents to the type of stroke and correlation of measured currents to the incident stroke currents is rather limited. This is especially true for interconnected protection system of the type dealt in the present work. Considering these the present work is taken up and its scope is defined as: (i) Evolve a suitable model for study of current distribution in LPS due to Lightning and using the same deduce the current due to stroke interception and that due to stroke nearby. (ii) For the purpose of categorization identify the salient characteristics of current due to the intercepted strokes and that due to bypass/nearby strokes (iii) For the intercepted strokes, develop a processor for estimating the injected stroke current from the measured tower base currents. Lightning event, apart from other associated physical phenomena, is strongly governed by electromagnetic fields. Any method employed for the analysis, either theoretical or experimental, should satisfy the governing electromagnetic equations. As experimentation on actual system, as well as, their laboratory simulation is nearly impossible, theoretical modelling approach is selected. Modelling involves modelling of the channel along with its excitation, modelling of the LPS and modelling of the ground. Channel, following the literature, is represented as a loaded conductor with a lumped current source at the junction point. Such models have quite successfully predicted the electromagnetic fields and current in other places on the down conductor. For the LPS, some simplifications on the geometry are very essential. Tower lattice elements of dimensions much smaller than the wavelength of highest dominant frequency component of lightning current spectrum are neglected. Suitable modification is made for the tower top involving a plate and interconnection of several short members. For the close range within 200 – 400 m, even for the induced currents, the influence of ground in the literature has been reported to be small. Also, there is an extensive grounding network in these systems. In view of the same, a perfectly conducting ground along with suitable ground termination impedance is considered. Only the numerical solution of the problem is feasible and for the same, following the literature, NEC-2 is employed. All the guidelines of NEC are respected in the discretisation. Geometric mean radius is employed for modelling the complex tower elements. Fourier Transform Techniques are employed for time domain conversion of the computed frequency domain quantities. Occasionally, numerical inversion error of magnitude less than 5% is encountered. For the validation of the numerical modelling for both direct stroke and that nearby, time domain experimentation on electromagnetically reduced scale models (35:1) is employed. As the channel electrical and geometrical parameters are stochastic in nature, it is necessary to ensure that the deduction made using the model is practically relevant. For this, some parametric studies are conducted. The influence of channel length and inclination, stroke current velocity etc. has been shown to be insignificant for the case of intercepted strokes. Simulations are carried out for the stroke intercepted (i.e. direct strikes) by the LPS. The characteristics of the tower base currents are investigated. The base currents indicate a dispersive propagation along the towers and further a frequency dependent current division at the tower-shield wire junctions. Base currents contain superimposed oscillations, which basically originate from various junctions of the system. The magnitude of the oscillations is obviously dependent on the rise time of the incident currents. The tower base currents settle within about 10 -15 µs, which is shorter than that for isolated tower. Further, the full-frequency model could be limited to this time period. The corresponding current transfer functions are deduced. For the stroke interception by shield wires, based on the earlier work, only stroke to midspan is found to be relevant and hence it is considered. The nature of tower base currents for a stroke to midspan of the shield wires seem to be similar. However there are some distinct features, which are helpful in identifying the stroke location on the LPS. From the time correlated tower base currents, a suitable methodology for identifying the stroke interception location on LPS is developed. Next, simulations for induced current due to a bypass stroke, as well as, stroke to ground outside the LPS, however, within 1 km radius are taken up. In fact, it is estimated that latter is nearly 5 – 13 times higher than the strokes collected by LPS, indicating it as the most probable event. The objective here is characterization, rather than correlation. In this study, the influence of charge induced on the LPS by the descending leader is neglected and the upward leader activity is approximately considered. To the best of author’s knowledge, studies on such induced currents in down conductors are very scarce. Considering this and noting that the number of parameters is quite large, first the basic study is taken up on simple cylindrical down conductors. Many important and interesting deductions are made. The nature of the induced current is highly dependent on the rate of rise as well as the velocity of propagation of the stroke current. The magnitude and to some extent, the wave shape of the induced current is found to depend on the average as well as maximum di/dt of the stroke current. For a given wave shape, the magnitude of the induced current increases with rate of rise of the wave front; however, saturating trend will onset after some point. The height of the down conductor mainly governs the frequency of the oscillatory component of the induced current. The dependency of the induced current on the radius of the down conductor seems to be logarithmic (which is in accordance with the antenna theory). Based on these results, the parameters for the corresponding study on LPS under consideration, is chosen. The results of the investigation on the induced currents in LPS show that they have quite distinct waveform. They are basically bipolar and oscillatory in nature, with relatively short duration. These unique features facilitate clear distinction of the induced currents from that due to stroke interception. Basic characteristics are reasonably insensitive to the separation distance of the protection system and the channel, current propagation velocity along the channel, channel inclination and shape of the current front. The salient features of the induced current due to a bypass stroke are also enumerated. • The noise, if any, in the measured current can be addressed only after acquiring sufficient data. Based on the above, the following procedure is suggested for the stroke classification and estimation. • By employing the distinct features of the resulting tower base currents, analyze the measured tower base currents and classify the strokes into the intercepted stroke or stroke to ground. • For the latter case, using the salient features of the bypass strokes, further classify the strokes to bypass strokes and stroke to ground outside the protected volume. • For the intercepted strokes, using the relative strengths and wave shapes, identify the interception point to either tower top or the midspan of the shield wires. • Then by using the corresponding transfer functions and Fourier Transform techniques, compute the injected stroke current. • Using the above, other tower base currents are computed and compared with the measured currents. This gives quantification for the accuracy of the method. In summary the present work has made some original contribution to the classification and estimation of stroke currents measured on the interconnected LPS.
URI: http://etd.iisc.ernet.in/handle/2005/418
Appears in Collections:Electrical Engineering (ee)

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