Author Topic: A New Comprehensive Lightning Instrumentation System for Pad 39B  (Read 9459 times)

Offline rdale

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Not sure what the exact future of this project will look like since it's a 39B system, but it's interesting anyways...

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20100036324_2010039856.pdf

A new comprehensive lightning instrumentation system has been designed for Launch Complex 39B at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. This new instrumentation system includes the synchronized recording of six high-speed video cameras, currents through the nine downconductors of the new lightning protection system, four B-dot, 3-axis measurement stations, and five D-dot stations composed of two antennas each. The instrumentation system is composed of centralized transient recorders and digitizers that located close to the sensors in the field. The sensors and transient recorders communicate via optical fiber. The transient recorders are triggered by the B-dot sensors, the E-dot sensors, or the current through the downlead conductors. The high-speed cameras are triggered by the transient recorders when the latter perceives a qualified trigger.


Offline HIPAR

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I'd suspect there is a a buried electrical grid around each tower.  The tower is bonded to the grid with multiple conductors.  Current  flows through the towers and is dissipated through the grid.  That's standard practice for radio towers.

The theory is to provide the lowest impedance to ground.  Lightning strike waveforms exhibit fast rise times so the inductance and resistance of grounding system and towers must be minimized.  If there is an 'impedance bump' the charge flashes off to better ground path.  Really powerful strokes can exhibit hundreds of thousands amps currents.

There exists a 'cone of protection' surrounding each tower.  I believe there is also a catenary consisting of overhead cables connecting the towers.

---  CHAS

Offline 00rs250

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A friend of mine works for CSR out at the cape.  He got lucky one day and pulled this little gem off a system.
Half hour away from the best place to leave earth!

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