Lightning Test Laboratory was established at the Institute of Plasma Physics and Laser Microfusion in 1994. The basic scope of this study is verify the level of resistance of aircraft and their equipment and other devices such as OPGW (Optical Grounding Wire) to the effects of lightning discharges in the impact of strong current pulses that simulate natural lightning stroke.

The Laboratory has equipment which  allows to perform:

  • studies of the effects of direct lightning discharges,
  • appointment of the induced signals (voltages and currents) in the selected devices and circuits of the test object,
  • confirm the level of resistance to lightning-induced exposure to aircraft equipment, based on standard procedures described in EUROCAE DO-160D ED-14C/RTCA 22nd chapter

Current set of generators for testing the effects of lightning discharges are shown in Figure 1 This system allows the generation of a sequence of current pulses (A + B + C) or (D + B + C). Figure 2 shows the selected objects during / after the test, and a picture of the channel discharge in conditions of high humidity.

In 2011, the modernized generator stroke current "C" so that you can conduct research elements of lightning protection systems according to PN-EN 50161-1 in the full range of parameters. The selected part of the installation is presented in Figure 3.

Generator A D


Generator B


Generator C


Generator A H


Fig. 1 Basic generators used during the "direct" tests- a) the component "A" and "D"
b) the component "B", c) the component "C", d) during the "indirect" tests, - component "A" and "H".

Testy pośrednie samolotu Sky-Truck


Sky-Truck uszkodzenie powierzchni płatowca


Wyładowanie w warunkach dużej wilgotności


Fig. 2  a) “Sky-Truck” airplane while indirect tests,  b) damage to the surface of an aircraft airframe
“Sky-Truck”, c) image captured during the discharge in conditions of very high humidity.

Stanowisko podczas badania piorunochronnego

Fig. 3 View of the stand during the test of the lightning installation element according to
PN-EN 50164-1 (Imax = 100 kA, specific energy 2500 kJ / Ω)
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Research projects carried out at the IPPLM are funded by the Polish Ministry of Education and Science, the National Science Centre and by the European Commission within the framework of EUROfusion Consortium under grant agreement No 633053. Financial support comes also from the International Atomic Energy Agency, European Space Agency and LaserLab Consortium as well as from the Fusion for Energy Agency.

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