[time-nuts] GPS antenna and lightning

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Sun Oct 4 17:21:47 UTC 2009

On 10/4/09 6:00 AM, "Brooke Clarke" <brooke at pacific.net> wrote:

> Hi Kevin:
> I agree with all you have said regarding how the wiring should be to minimize
> currents in equipment, but . . .
> It is possible to greatly lower the possibility of lightening striking some
> location.  It's done by using what amounts to bottle brushes made of metal
> that
> are about 3" in diameter and a few feet long.  You place these below and
> around
> the GPS antenna and make a good connection to ground.  They bleed ions from
> the
> earth into the air forming clouds (pine trees do a similar thing).

This method has been thoroughly discredited in numerous peer-reviewed
articles. It was also the subject of litigation against IEEE by a
manufacturer of such devices (as I recall, claiming that by publishing the
papers, it was interfering with their business.. Etc.)

One mfr uses "as used by NASA" in their literature, neglecting to mention
that NASA bought a whole raft of such products to do effectiveness testing,
and the report of that testing found that they have no effect or actually
increase the probability of strikes. There's a great picture of a lightning
strike directly to the device on the side of a tower at Cape Canaveral.

Google for "Abdul Mousa" and "Lightning" for the early parts of the story..

Then, there's the paper from Moore at the Langmuir Lab in New Mexico (where
they study lightning effects) "Charge Transfer System is Wishful Thinking,
not Science"..

Or the paper by Martin Uman and Vadimir Rakov (who literally wrote the book
on Lightning, more than once) in AMS Journal Dec 2002 "A Critical Review of
Nonconventional Approaches to Lightning Protection"

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