Not so long ago, we have wrote about the Thor Guard early warning systems that have gained popularity in the USA and all around the world. They make it possible to prepare and avoid the possible consequences of a lightning strike. What devices are to be used if there is a need to record the impact frequency and analyze the characteristics of a lightning strike?
For example, LM-S made by Phoenix Contact, a special lightning current monitoring system, has been installed on St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, the highest building in Austria. This system makes it possible not only to monitor and analyze a lightning strike, but also carry out remote observation.
The LM-S lightning current monitoring system consists of the following parts: sensor, connection cable, fiber optic terminal device and analyzer.
The operation of this device is based on the Faraday effect, which means that the plane of light polarization rotates when distributed linearly through an optically inactive substance. The higher the current caused by the lightning, the higher the magnetic induction. So the polarization rotation of polarized light is also higher. The LM-S lightning current monitoring system can calculate measurements results based on changes in the light signal.
The sensors of the current monitoring system are fitted to lightning rods and record the magnetic field generated by the pulse current of lightning that forms around the conductor. The results are transferred to the optoelectronic unit through an optical fiber. In this unit, the optical signal is transformed into an electrical one. This results enables the analyzer to determine characteristics of the lightning such as maximum current intensity, the rate of current rise charge, and specific energy. The analyzer of the LM-S current monitoring system is installed in the tower at a height of 70 meters.
Due to the RJ-45 Ethernet interface, the analyzer can be integrated into standard network systems. Data access and settings configuration for the system are carried out through a web-server.
Of course, St. Stephen's Cathedral is not the only structure where an LM-S lightning current monitoring system has been installed by Phoenix Contact.
This device has been installed on such famous buildings as the Burj Khalifa skyscraper, the cable car on Table Mountain in South Africa, the Meridian Gate at the main entrance of the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Sphinx Observatory in Switzerland, the Hermann Monument in Germany, the GMM tower in Bangkok, the Great Belt bridge in Denmark, the large astronomical telescope at La Palma island in the Atlantic Ocean and the Akshardham complex in India, as well as the Strahov Monastery in the Czech Republic.
In 2012 the LM-S lightning current monitoring system by Phoenix Contact was awarded the Hermes Award, a rather important international award in the technology world, for its technological innovation.