LIGHTNING PROTECTION & GROUNDING
WHEN THE MINIMUN STANDARDS WON'T DO - SLS STEPS IN
National and international lightning protection standards such as NFPA 780, UL96A and IEC 62305 provide excellent guidelines for designing effective lightning protection for traditional structures. However, these documents frequently do not meet the lightning protection needs of non-traditional or mission critical structures. This is where the specialized expertise of the SLS team makes a difference.
Comprehensive Structural Lightning Protection System Design
SLS scientists and engineers are the leading experts in designing effective, scientifically-proven lightning protection systems for mission critical assets and non-traditional structures. SLS currently provides lightning protection system designs for the highest value assets of the US Space Program, including those belonging to NASA and also commercial space launch providers such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Orbital ATK. SLS specializes in designing and implementing lightning protection systems for critical facilities that have needs beyond the minimum requirements of national standards. We provide lightning protection system design during project planning for new facilities as well as for existing structures.
Lightning Protection Inspections and Certifications
SLS engineers can perform engineering inspections of lightning protection and grounding systems on existing facilities. Our detailed inspection reports identify deficiencies and recommend solutions wherever needed. SLS also coordinates third party certifications of installed systems for compliance with US standards such as NFPA 780, UL96A and LPI175 where mandated.
Surge Protection and Grounding
A lightning protection system is not complete without taking into consideration the deleterious effects that nearby lightning strikes can have on a facility and its contents. Electronic building systems and controls are particularly susceptible to damage that enters a structure indirectly when a nearby strike travels through wires and conductive paths into a building. The structural lightning protection system must be integrated with a correctly crafted grounding system that takes into account the entire structure and its relationship with other connected buildings. Similarly, effective surge protection similarly must be designed with an eye for the entire facility and how its electrical circuits are integrated. Through SLS’s experience protecting space launch vehicles and launch facilities the company has gained tremendous knowledge regarding how to correctly provide comprehensive lightning protection solutions to even the most complex infrastructure.
Electrical Circuit Protection
SLS engineers have invested years in real-lightning testing of innovative protection schemes for highly sensitive instrumentation systems located in close proximity to lightning currents. We design effective systems and employ specialized, time-tested mitigation strategies to protect a facility’s critical electrical circuits and connected equipment during thunderstorms.
Surge Protection Coordination
SLS personnel have extensive experience with Surge Protection Device brands and manufacturers. We provide expert recommendations for overall facility protection and detailed analyses regarding what circuits require SPDs. We also assist with the selection of appropriate products to protect vulnerable power, communication, data lines, etc.