Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Grzybowski, Stanislaw

Committee Member

Ginn, Herbert L.

Committee Member

Younan, Nicholas H.

Committee Member

Schulz, Noel N.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Electrical Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


In this dissertation, experimental data was used to investigate the influence of a nearby mast structure on the striking distance to a lightning rod. The results of this research helped identify and understand the impact of different factors such as stroke polarity, lightning rod height, striking distance to the ground, lateral distance from the lightning stroke to an adjacent mast, and height of the adjacent mast on the striking distance of a lightning rod. Moreover, a system identification methodology was employed for the development and validation of striking distance models from experimental work performed at the Mississippi State University High Voltage Laboratory. Striking distance models were obtained to represent the striking distance to the ground, striking distance to an isolated lightning rod, and striking distance to a lightning rod in the presence of an adjacent mast. In the case of the striking distance to the ground the system identification approach was used for the extraction of the parameters of the black-box model proposed. From the results the relationship between the striking distance to ground and the leader voltage were obtained for both polarities of the lightning stroke. The system identification approach was then expanded to obtain the models for the striking distance to the lightning rod. The system identification approach was used to evaluate different mathematical models based on the ones found in the literature. The models were trained on experimental data, their quality evaluated, and the best model was selected for both positive and negative polarity. Furthermore, the model for negative polarity was evaluated against data from real lightning conditions in order to corroborate the model extrapolation capability. Building on the success obtained on the cases of the striking distance to the ground and to an isolated lightning rod the focus was turned to expanding the models to incorporate the influence of an adjacent mast. Models for positive and negative polarity were obtained and the quality of the equations was evaluated.

Temporal Coverage




experimental data||system identification||lightning rod||striking distance||lightning