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Una Revisión de Los Desarrollos Recientes en Los Modelos de Retorno de Carrera Basados en La Teoría de Línea de Transmisión

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Introduction

One of the possibilities of modeling the return-stroke current propagation in the

lightning channel is to represent the lightning channel as a transmission line [1], [2].

In this case, currents and voltages at each channel coordinate are calculated from the

solution of

length inductance, capacitance, resistance, and conductance of the transmission line

position on the line, and is time. Equations (1) and (2) are the well-known

telegrapher's equations. These equations can be derived directly from Maxwell's

equations, but also from the equivalent circuit shown in Fig. 1, which represents a

Figure 1.

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solution of (1)and (2) are called either transmission line models [1] or, equivalently,

distributed-circuit models [2]. The challenge of models of this type is to include, in the

formulation of the per-unit-length parameters associated with (1) and (2), some

aspects that are natural to lightning, such as the predominantly vertical channel

geometry, the presence of the cloud, the nonlinear nature of the channel resistance,

and the deposition of corona charges in the region surrounding the channel core,

among others. Many attempts have been made to accommodate some of the

aforementioned aspects in the modeling of the return-stroke channel as a transmission

line. This paper presents a discussion on recent developments in this field.

SECTION II.

Classification and Overview of Existing Models

Return-stroke models based on transmission line theory can be classified in three

different categories as follows [1]: (a) models that represent the return-stroke current

as the discharge to ground of a previously charged transmission line, referred to as

discharge-type models; (b) models that represent the return-stroke channel as a

transmission line that is excited at its bottom by a lumped source, named lumped-

excitation models; (c) models that use the analogy between the lightning channel and

transmission lines to derive relevant lightning properties, referred to as parameter-

estimation models. A brief overview of models pertaining to categories (a), (b) and (c)

is presented in the following subsections. A more complete review can be found in [1].

A. Discharge-Type Models

Discharge-type models represent the lightning channel either as a previously charged

transmission line or as a cascade of lumped RLC elements with charged capacitances

[e.g.], [4]–[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]. In both cases, the return-stroke current is

obtained by switching one of the line ends to ground. Models pertaining to this

category have been used to predict the spatial and temporal distribution of the return-

stroke current. However, only a limited number of models were used to predict remote

electromagnetic fields [9], [11]–[12][13].

B. Lumped-Excitation Models

In lumped-excitation models, the lightning channel is represented as a previously

uncharged transmission line that is excited at one end by a lumped source [e.g.], [14]–

[15][16][17][18][19][20][21]. If a lumped current source is used, the channel-base

current is an input parameter of the model. On the other hand, if a lumped voltage

source is used, the channel-base current becomes one of the model outputs. However,

it can be shown that a lumped voltage source can be suitably adjusted to supply a

channel-base current with desired waveform to a nonlinear return-stroke model [20].

Also, it can be shown that the excitation of an initially uncharged transmission line by

a step voltage is analogous to the discharge to ground of a previously charged

transmission line through the closing of an ideal switch [1]. In general, lumped-

excitation models lead to current and remote electromagnetic fields predictions that

reproduce fairly well most of the observable features of lightning [15], [16], [19]–

[20][21].

C. Parameter-Estimation Models

In parameter-estimation models, the analogy between the propagation of the return-

stroke current in the lightning channel and the propagation of a current pulse in a

transmission line is used for inferring relevant lightning properties. Examples of

models of this type are found in [4], [22].

SECTION III.

Recent Developments in Return-Stroke Models based on

Transmission Line Theory

In this section, a discussion is presented on recent developments in the modeling of the

return-stroke channel using transmission line theory. More attention is given to

models based on the excitation of a previously uncharged transmission line by a

lumped source because this type of model has attracted considerable attention in the

last decade or so. The main focus is on the treatment of the nonuniform nature of the

channel, the treatment of channel losses, and the inclusion of corona.

Different formulations for representing the variation of the per-unit-length inductance

and capacitance of a vertical wire excited at its bottom have been proposed for use in

transmission line models of the return stroke. Some examples are shown in Fig. 2,

which illustrates the characteristic impedance associated with a lossless vertical wire

with radius of 1 cm located above a perfectly conducting ground plane, calculated

assuming three different approaches, namely: (1) use of the characteristic impedance

given by

proposed in [15]. All cases lead to an increase of the characteristic impedance with

increasing height. This is associated with the increase of the per-unit-length

inductance and decrease of the per-unit-length capacitance with increasing height. The

variation of and with position indicates that if the transmission line theory is

to be used for representing the surge propagation along a vertical wire, the resulting

transmission line must be nonuniform.

Figure 2.

Characteristic impedance of a lossless vertical wire according to different formulations.

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with the CSM as proposed in [15] is much lower than the characteristic impedance

calculated with the other methods, it can be shown that if the vertical wire is excited by

a lumped current source inserted between its bottom end and the ground the resulting

current distributions are not very different for the three formulations considered

in Fig. 2. This is illustrated in Fig. 3, which considers the injection of a 1-kA triangular

excite the channel base instead, the differences in the resulting currents are expected

to be more significant.

In all cases shown in Fig. 3, the nonuniform nature of and leads to the

attenuation of the propagating current with increasing height even in the absence of

losses. This attenuation, which is related to successive reflections taking place in the

channel due to the increase of its characteristic impedance with increasing height,

emulates, to some extent, the non-transverse electromagnetic field structure associated

with the propagation of a current pulse along a vertical wire [17]. It can be shown that

the currents calculated with both Jordan's revised formula and the expression that

gives the characteristic impedance of a conical antenna with very small cone angle are

in good agreement with the predictions of more rigorous electromagnetic

models [1], [17].

Figure 3.

Currents calculated at heights of 0, 200, 400, 600 and 800 m (from left to right in the figure) of

a vertical wire excited at its bottom by a lumped current source.

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In the transition from the leader channel to the return-stroke channel, the channel

resistance is known to decay nonlinearly from a high initial value to a lower value of a

fraction of ohms at later times [19], [22], [25]. Nevertheless, early efforts in

representing the lightning channel using transmission line theory assumed a constant

channel resistance [4]–[5][6]. To the best of the authors' knowledge, the first attempt

of representing the channel resistance as a non-linear parameter in a transmission line

model of the return stroke is found in [7], where two different types of models were

investigated, both based on Braginskii's theory for the development of a spark

channel [26]. However, no proper model validation or electromagnetic field

predictions were presented in [7]. In [9], [11], further attempts of including a nonlinear

resistance in a transmission line model of the return stroke have been made using

either a more complete hydrodynamic model [9] or a simplified version of Braginskii's

theory [11]. Remote electromagnetic fields were presented in [9], [11], but the results

seem inconsistent with measured data.

return stroke can be found in [15], [16], where a per-unit-length resistance that decays

exponentially with time from a high value at early times to a low value at later times is

assumed. Remote lightning electromagnetic fields predicted by the models

in [15], [16] were shown to be in good agreement with measured data. However, it is

implicit in the assumption of a channel resistance that decays exponentially with time

that no actual dependence exists between the shape of the return-stroke current and

the decay pattern of the resistance, which is unrealistic.

resistance in the calculation of return-stroke currents using transmission line theory is

presented. Three different types of models are considered, namely: (a) models based

on the assumption of an exponential decay for the channel resistance, (b) the use of the

strong-shock approximation proposed by Braginskii [26] to control the rate of radial

expansion of the channel core, and (c) different arc-resistance equations. It is shown

that models pertaining to classes (b) and (c) are able to lead to similar results

regarding the nonlinear time decay of the resistance at different channel locations. It is

shown that the use of these models leads to predictions of return-stroke speed profiles

and remote lightning electromagnetic fields that behave closer to what seen in nature.

On the other hand, it is also shown that the lack of dependence between the decay

pattern of the channel resistance and the shape of the return-stroke current in models

pertaining to class (a) leads to artifacts in predicted remote electromagnetic fields that

can be mistakenly associated with features typically observed in measured lightning

electromagnetic fields.

Fig. 4 illustrates currents calculated along a straight vertical wire intended to represent

the lightning channel, loaded with a nonlinear resistance controlled by the strong-

shock approximation proposed by Braginskii [26]. The corresponding variation of the

channel resistance with time at various channel heights is shown in Fig. 5. In the

current source that injected the 11-kA current waveform proposed in [28]. The results

shown in Fig. 4 indicate that the inclusion of a nonlinear channel resistance increases

the attenuation and distortion of the return-stroke current compared to the case where

a lossless channel is considered (see Fig. 3, for example). Although not shown here, it

also leads to a better agreement between predicted and measured lightning

electromagnetic fields as discussed in [19].

Figure 4.

Currents calculated at heights of 0, 300, 700 and 1100 m (from left to right in the figure) in a

vertical wire loaded with a nonlinear resistance.

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C. Inclusion of Corona

Most of the return-stroke models based on transmission line theory consider corona by

means of an increase in the geometrical capacitance of the line. In some cases, this

excess capacitance is assumed to be constant (e.g., [7]), while in other cases attempts

have been made to include a nonlinear (time-varying) capacitance to accommodate the

various stages of return-stroke development [8], [10], [16]. In [18], a coaxial corona

model was incorporated to a lossless transmission line to study the effect of corona on

the propagation of the return-stroke current. It was shown that in addition to a

nonlinear increase in the channel capacitance, the inclusion of corona in telegrapher's

equations also require the consideration of a time-varying shunt conductance. In [21],

the corona model investigated in [18] was incorporated to a transmission line model of

the return stroke that includes nonlinear losses.

Figure 5.

Variation of the per-unit-length resistance with height and time associated with the case

illustrated in Fig. 4 [27].

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the presence of both corona and nonlinear losses [21]. The breakdown electric field was

obtained from Peek's formula and a critical electric field for the stable propagation of

streamers of 2 MV/m was considered. In the nonlinear resistance model, an initial

case in which only the nonlinear resistance is considered, the inclusion of corona

increases the dispersion of the propagating current and reduces its propagation speed.

Figure 6.

Currents calculated at heights of 0, 300, 600, 900 and 1200 m (from left to right in the figure) in

a vertical wire loaded with a nonlinear resistance considering corona [21].

View All

SECTION IV.

Remote Eletromagnetic Field Predictions and Model

Applications

Few return-stroke models based on transmission line theory have been properly

validated through comparisons between calculated and measured remote lightning

electromagnetic fields [15], [16], [19], [21]. Overall, the simultaneous consideration of

corona and nonlinear losses in the representation of the lightning channel as a

transmission line allows for the reproduction of most of (if not all) the observable

features of measured lightning electromagnetic fields [16], [21]. In particular, their

simultaneous consideration leads to close vertical electric fields presenting a flat

profile and a decay with distance that are consistent with measurements performed in

triggered lightning experiments [21]. As an example, Fig. 7 illustrates the vertical

electric field waveform corresponding to the currents shown in Fig. 6, calculated 50 m

far from the channel.

Figure 7.

Vertical electric field calculated at 50 m from the channel assuming the current distribution

shown in Fig. 6.

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Transmission line models of the return stroke have been applied to evaluate direct

lightning hits and the interaction of lightning with tall objects and aircrafts

[e.g.], [7], [29]. More recent efforts include new evaluations of the interaction of

lightning with tall objects [20] and the calculation of lightning-induced voltages on

overhead lines [30], [31].

SECTION V.

Summary

This paper presents a review of recent developments in return-stroke models based on

transmission line theory. Three different categories are used to classify the existing

models, namely discharge-type models, lumped-excitation models, and parameter

estimation models. Different aspects of recently-developed models are discussed,

namely the use of transmission line theory to describe the propagation of a current

wave on a vertical conductor, the inclusion of nonlinear channel losses, and the

consideration of corona. Currents and remote electromagnetic fields predicted by some

of the reviewed models are able to reproduce many observable features of lightning.

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