SLS has unmatched talent from the scientifc, engineering, and lightning protection industries. In addition to mission-proven experience solving many of the most complex lightning protection challenges, SLS has access to the world's only live lightning test facility, proprietary analysis and design software, and exclusive fast-data acquisition and monitoring technologies and equipment. Our reach is nationwide and global.
The SLS Team has many decades of lightning monitoring, lightning protection, and lightning testing experience. We apply state-of-the-art lightning research to engineering solutions.
Jupiter OLS creates a new standard in lightning surveillance. State-of-the-art lightning location networks fail to report at least 10% of all lightning strikes and often misreport strike locations by up to several miles. In addition, these networks fail to report lightning strokes with multiple ground attachment points, upward illumination (UI) strokes and often miscategorize weak positive cloud-to-ground strokes as intracloud discharges. SLS engineers designed Jupiter OLS to be the world’s first site-specific lightning monitoring system that detects 100% of lightning strikes and pinpoints the strike locations of these events with unprecedented accuracy. Each Jupiter OLS system is tailored to the specific requirements of the customer’s planned installation and monitored target.
Lightning can infiltrate your power infrastructure and sensitive electromechanical systems in many ways. Direct lightning strikes to your facility or assets pose an obvious hazard, but nearby strikes can be equally damaging, particularly if lightning signals are strongly coupled into power and other utilities that enter your facilities. It pays to know when these lightning transients occur, and how damaging they are likely to be to your infrastructure.
SLS designed Jupiter TMS to reliably monitor, accurately measure, and quickly report lightning related transient signals that may compromise the integrity of your sensitive assets.
Electromagnetic fields radiated by lightning can induce damaging currents and voltages in power and electromechanical systems. SLS developed high-bandwidth electric field change (D-dot) and magnetic field change (B-dot) sensors for NASA to accurately sense lightning-radiated electromagnetic fields in the vicinity of the new Space Launch System rocket and inside the Orion crew capsule. These unique sensors are now available for measuring harmful lightning electromagnetic fields impinging on your critical assets and facilities. The sensors can be interfaced with a Jupiter Transient Monitoring System (TMS), or used independently.
SLS offers our customers a compact, three-axis magnetic field derivative (B-dot) sensor for simultaneously detecting the horizontal and vertical components of lightning-radiated magnetic fields. These custom sensors are packaged in a rugged housing that will withstand prolonged exposure to harsh environmental conditions. Our 3-axis B-dot sensors are currently being used to detect lightning signals on NASA’s Mobile Launch Tower and inside NASA’s Orion crew capsule. The 3-axis B-dot sensor specifications are given below:
Part #: SR-BDT-1L-300
Construction: Fiberglass housing, 6061 aluminum base
Base Coating: Anodized
Mounting: Vertical, horizontal, pole-mount
SLS offers our customers a sleek, weather-proof electric field derivative (D-dot) sensor for measuring lightning-radiated electric field changes. Our standard D-dot sensor is constructed from aircraft-grade 6061 aluminum with a UV-resistant protective dome. The sensor mechanical and electrical specifications are given below:
Part #: SR-DDT-105-GP-04
Insulator Material: PVC
Sensing Element Material: 353 Brass
Ground Plate Material: 6061 aluminum
Ground Plate Coating: Anodized
Protective Dome Material: Acrylic
Mounting: Horizontal, Pole
Our D-dot sensor is available in custom sizes. Amplification and/or integration electronics are available to meet your measurement requirements.
SLS provides our customers with a full spectrum of lightning protection risk assessment capabilities. We perform risk evaluations for assets ranging from small commercial facilities to critical military and aerospace infrastructure.
This assessment fills the requirements of many jurisdictions for evaluating the need for a lightning protection system on a particular structure.
SLS has developed proprietary software that quickly performs the risk assessment calculations required in compliance with NFPA 780 (Simplifed Risk Assessment Tool). Input criteria include building dimensions, expected occupancy, construction material, location, etc.
SLS engineers perform the calculations required in the NFPA’s detailed risk assessment for structures where a higher level of risk analysis is required.
The detailed risk assessment accounts for factors including all incoming and outgoing utilities to a given structure, coordinated installation of surge protective devices (SPD), cable shielding and bonding, and the facility grounding topology, among others.
SLS engineers perform the calculations detailed in the IEC's risk assessment procedure to evaluate the lightning risk to structures and personnel.
SLS has developed proprietary 3D analysis software to quantify the probability of direct lightning strikes, along with the peak current distribution of those strikes, to every portion of your facility.
This software, which exceeds the requirements of all accepted standards, provides customers with valuable data that cannot be obtained through traditional risk assessments. SLS utilizes this revolutionary software package to highlight lightning vulnerabilities at your facility that may not have otherwise been identified.
An effective lightning protection system typically consists of three fundamental elements.
1. Above ground strike objects (air terminals, catenary wires, structural metal), bonding connectors, and down conductors. Above ground lightning protection systems may be implemented as one or a combination of the following topologies:
2. Below ground earthing conductors, counterpoise, and grounding grids
3. Surge protective devices for electrical panels and electronics
In order for a lightning protection system to safely and quickly dissipate direct and indirect lightning currents and voltages, the integrity of all elements of the lightning protection system must be verified.
In addition to the three fundamental lightning protection system elements, there are other critical lightning protection elements that are often overlooked and cause significant problems for industries that utilize monitoring and control systems (Power Plants, Chemical Plants, etc). These elements are transient protection, shielding, and bonding. Transient protection is provided by a combination of filtering and surge suppression devices. The design and implantation of proper transient protection depend on factors including circuit topologies, operating voltages, current handling, physical location of the circuit, interfaces, and exposure. Inadequate shielding and bonding can cause excessive and damaging induced voltages across interfaces or equipment due to nearby lightning strikes. As a result, facilities often experience burned fuses, damaged data acquisition or control cards, damaged sensors or transmitters, etc. It is important to note that these types of damage can occur even if the three fundamental lightning protection elements have been properly installed and are working properly. SLS is an industry leader in the design of site-specific transient protection, shielding, and bonding topologies to provide optimum protection and minimize lightning-related downtime.
SLS designs highly-complex lightning protection systems for critical assets. Our team of experts know how lightning protection systems should be designed. We put this knowledge to work to ensure that your assets are sufficiently lightning-protected.
SLS engineers perform on-site visual inspections of your facility’s above ground lightning protection system. When necessary, visual inspections are accompanied by calibrated bonding measurements to ensure proper, low-impedance connections between all strike objects, bonding connectors, utilities, structural metal, and down conductors.
SLS engineers perform on-site visual inspections and measurements of your facility’s grounding system. Calibrated bonding impedance measurements are conducted between down-conductors and the grounding network. The overall grounding resistance of your structure is accurately measured. For new construction, ground resistivity measurements are conducted to determine what type and scale of grounding system will be most capable of safely and quickly conducting lightning currents to ground.
SLS engineers inspect your facility’s electrical panels and peripheral electronics to ensure that properly dimensioned and installed surge protective devices (SPDs) are being utilized.
Damage from direct or nearby lightning strikes can occur when your systems and assets are not protected by a properly designed lightning protection system. When this occurs, SLS steps in to help you accurately assess how and where lightning damage occurred. Our trained experts will carefully examine your facility or asset and determine where lightning-vulnerabilities exist. We then follow up with scientically-designed and proven mitigation strategies to prevent recurring damage. After all,
lightning does strike the same place twice.
Contact SLS today to have our team of experts assist you in tracking down and solving your lightning-related problems.
The SLS team is comprised of lightning scientists and electrical engineers with highly specialized knowledge regarding the phenomena of lightning. Several of SLS’ lightning subject matter experts have doctoral degrees in lightning-related studies. Their expertise includes lightning and atmospheric physics, lightning protection and grounding design, lightning risk assessments and surge protection design. SLS scientists and engineers are routinely called upon by NASA, the power generation industry, and the oil and gas industry to provide innovative lightning protection solutions and to solve complex lightning-related problems.
SLS' lightning experts are available to provide expert witness consultation and testimony regarding any lightning-related litigation.