Simulation of radiation from lightning return strokes: The effects of tortuosity


  • D. M. LeVine,

  • R. Meneghini


A Monte Carlo simulation has been developed for the electromagnetic fields radiated from a tortuous lightning channel. This was done using a piecewise linear model for the channel and employing for each element the field radiated by a traveling wave on an arbitrarily oriented filament over a conducting plane. The simulation reproduces experimental data reasonably well and has been used to study the effects of tortuosity on the fields radiated by return strokes. Tortuosity can significantly modify the radiated waveform, tending to render it less representative of the current pulse and more nearly unipolar than one would expect based on the theory for a long straight channel. In the frequency domain the effect of tortuosity is an increase in high frequency energy as compared with an equivalent straight channel. The extent of this increase depends on the mean length of the elements comprising the channel and can be significant.