12/03/2021

    Protecting people and facilities from lightning strikes and harnessing the energyLightning control and charging technologyNTT Space Environment and Energy Laboratories

    Overview

    We are researching technologies to control lightning strikes and eliminate lightning damage to people and facilities as lightning is set to become more common with the increase in extreme weather events. Our goal is to develop technologies that direct lightning strikes to safe locations using drones, as well as technology to prevent lightning strikes from occurring in the first place. We also plan to study how to harness and use lightning energy, with the goal of creating a lightning control system capable of autonomous operation using exclusively lightning energy.

    Background / Issues

    Lightning strikes can cause serious damage to communications, power, and other infrastructure. The number of lightning strikes is expected to increase in the future, and countermeasures are essential for building resilient smart cities. In the past, NTT has taken various measures to mitigate damage to communications buildings and equipment on the assumption that they will be struck by lightning at some point. However, it is difficult and costly to ensure that buildings and equipment in large areas such as smart cities are completely covered. To this end, we are working on research that will dramatically boost our perspective and eliminate lightning strikes on people and critical infrastructure.

    Advantages of this technology

    • By moving drones in line with thunderclouds, we will be able to protect large areas from lightning strikes with a small number of drones.
    • Optimal placement of drones based on prediction of lightning positions ensures highly accurate lightning capture.
    • Harnesses lightning energy and uses it as the operating power for the system.

    Use Scene

    • Prevents lightning damage to important infrastructure such as communications, electricity, and traffic
    • Prevents lightning strikes against people and facilities during outdoor events and competitions, etc.

    Explanatory chart

    Explained in Video

    Department in charge

    NTT Space Environment and Energy Laboratories - Resilient Environmental Adaptation Research Project

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