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Proposal of Master Science Engineering (Research)
Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka
Prepared by Main Supervisor
Co- Supervisor :
Nur Adlina
Bt. Ab.
z Dr. Zikri
Abadi bin Baharudin
: P.M.Ir. Dr.
Gan Chin Kim
Approved by:
Jabatan Teknologi
Keluruteraan Elektrik
. . t-a*utti
Unrversiii Teknikal


The goal of this Master Thesis Research proposal is to expand on the knowledge of natural
cloud- to-ground lightning, and in particular natural negative first return strokes, by examining
the close lightning electromagnetic environment. The investigation of this project mainly will
based on the multiple-station measurements of close electric and magnetic fields generated by
cloud to ground lightning flash to be recorded from three measurement stations in Melaka. Three
locations for observation and measurement of electric and magnetic fields are selected at
Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka which located in Faculty of Engineering Technology,
Faculty of Electrical Engineering and the premise of Malaysia Meteorology Science located in
Batu Berendam. An active integrators will be utilized for the development of electric and
magnetic field measurement in order to tune the bandwidth of operation for detecting suitable
frequency band for negative cloud- to-ground flashes. From the observation, the data of the
measurement will be analysed in term of the typicality of lightning parameters such as zero
crossing, rising wave shape, half full-wave response and peak value of electric and magnetic
fields. In addition, all those parameters will also consider the relationship between the profile of
the waveform and the corresponding distance of flashes.

The phenomenon of lightning has been the subject of intensive studies by electrical engineers
and researchers. Its behavior is fairly predictable in general terms, although the exact description
of the physical processes for specific instances is not predictable. The interpretation, and
sometimes speculation, are often complicated, which, owing to the complexity and variability of
lightning generation mechanisms. Furthermore, as there is no conclusive evidence that lightning
could be prevented, one has to recognize the possibility of a lightning strike and take appropriate
measures to make each strike harmless. Lightning protection is then the implementation of
appropriate actions for the characteristics of the lightning anticipated.
Many of the characteristics of lightning flashes, such as the characteristics of storms
(individual or systems), occurrence statistics, pulse structure, number of strokes per flash and the
polarity of the charge lowered to the ground, apparently depend on the season, geographical
region, latitude and storm type. Year after year, investigators have reported novel findings where
lightning characteristics are concerned; these parallel the progress in the development of
technology available for lightning electromagnetic field measurements. Characterization of
electric fields from electromagnetic field measurements is still considered an important tool for
electrical engineers and researchers. This is because the knowledge obtained significantly
improves the investigators’ understanding of the potential effect of deleterious coupling of
lightning fields with various objects especially for sensitive electronic devices.
Through the characterization of field data, one can extract information such as the time
dependence of the voltage or current, which can be used for modeling and as an input for the

computation of lightning electromagnetic fields. Any lightning model is actually necessarily an
approximate mathematical construct designed to reproduce certain aspects of the physical
processes involved in the lightning discharge. The basic assumptions of the models should be
consistent with both the expected outputs of the models and the availability of quantities required
as an input to it.
Problem statement
The electric fields from stepped leaders observed at distances beyond about 1 km have been
characterized by a number of investigators such as Beasley et al., (1982), Rakov and Uman,
(1990) and Baharudin et al., (2012). There have been a few closer measurements (e.g., Beasley et
al., 1982), but no systematic study of very close stepped-leader electric fields, that is, field
measurements from stepped leaders within 1 km. Therefore, the information of close distance of
lightning flashes is not well understood and is critically needed to solve especially for lightning
and protection scheme.
Project Scope
In this Master Thesis study, the author will add significantly to the existing data in the fields of
very close negative lightning first strokes, presenting examples of and characterizing the
measured electric fields of sufficiency the negative stepped leaders and the measured electric
fields, magnetic fields, and field derivatives of first return strokes each observed simultaneously
at multiple distances ranging from 3 to 5 km at three locations as shown in Figure 1. These data

will be useful both (1) in understanding the physics of stepped leaders and first return strokes,
and (2) in providing statistical information that can be used to assess the probability of electronic
system damage from very close lightning by induced effects. More details regarding the stud
y of
very close first strokes will include the relationship of field waveforms and corresponding flash
Figure 1: Three measurement stations located

Literature Review Lightning is a phenomenon which creates a high voltage and it is unpredictable. Lightning
can cause damage to property or a structure. Actually, lightning is the process that is caused by
an electrical discharged of an electron which moving very fast from one place to another.
Basically, in our natural world, there are three types of the lightning flashes that being considers

which are cloud to ground, cloud to cloud and cloud discharges. The study of lightning can be
through the measurement of radiation field (fast field changes), electrostatic field (slow field
changes) and magnetic fields which is related to charge of motion. There is nearly 90% of all
negative cloud to ground flashes that are initially developed in an overall downward direction
and transport negative charges to the ground, which is according to the electromagnetic field
measurement (Abidin and Ibrahim (2003), Rakov (2013)). Many researchers such as Clarence
and Malan (1957), Takeuti et al. (1960), Kitagawa and Brook (1960), Harris and Salman (1972),
Krehbiel et al. (1979), Thomson (1980), Beasley et al. (1982), Proctor et al. (1988) have been
recorded electric field change before the first return stroke of the negative cloud to ground
flashes start to increase slowly, which may continue for some hundreds of milliseconds. The
electrostatic field or slow field changes will not begin before the preliminary breakdown or
initial breakdown regarding to Baharudin et al. (2012). So that, the slow field changes are
generated by the preliminary breakdown of lightning activities. By follow to the information that
have been found, it indicates that only a small, slow field changes can be happen when the
beginning of early breakdown. The prior data that have been made by Baharudin et al., (2010
the different geographical areas, for example, such as in Malaysia and Sweden indicate that, it
will not affect the beginning position of slow field changes before the preliminary breakdown .
These slow fields changes can be measured by utilizing the single-station electric field
measurement with 12 bits transient of high resolution recorder.

BIL – type terminology to represent the electric field changes before the first return stroke
in cloud to ground flashes were initially researched by Clarence and Malan (1957). Clarence and
Malan (1957) recommend that the pre-return strokes discharges usually take place in three

successive stages. The initial or preliminary stages is called the (B) or breakdown stage, the (I) or
intermediate stage and (L) or leader stage. In accordance with Clarence and Malan (1957), the
preliminary breakdown was the cause of a vertical discharge between the primary negative
charge center and the lower positive charge center inside the thundercloud within a period of 2-

10ms. Early breakdown of stepper leader followed by either instantly or after an intermediate
stage(I) which may rise up to 400ms. The diagram of Figure 2 describes the common nature of
the field related with the first lightning strike to ground when observations are made respectively
at 5km, 50km and 500km. The return stroke field change is R and the post return stroke field
change is J.

Figure 2: Diagrams of typical field changes of discharge to ground (a) Electrostatic fields at
5km (b) Electrostatic induction and radiation field at 50km. The relative amplitude
of the
R has been reduced (c) Radiation fields at 500km.
Duration: B from (2 to 10) ms, I from (0 to 400) ms, L from (4 to 30)ms
By comparing the diagram of Figure 2, the (BIL) stages are clearly distinguished by the
variations of the relative amplitude of their field changes at different distances. It is shown that
the L stage can be result to the stepped leader and that the B and I stages are preparation
discharges which happen inside the cloud before the launch of the stepped leader.
1. To determine the distance of negative cloud- to-ground flashes ranging between 0.5 km to
30 km using the combination of electric radiation field and magnetic field measurement.
2. To indentify the propagation effect toward the distance by comparing the homogenous
and obstacle conditions.
3. To map the location of lightning for the frame work within the accuracy of 2 to 5 km
using GPS system.

Descriptions of the Methodology
1 Literature Review
Study about the other information that come out with
the same output.
2 Software explore ? Study and attending the software class.
? The software included is Orcad 16.3
3 Simulation
The complete circuit is simulated by using Orcad
4 Hardware Explore
? The hardware that will be used is theoretical study.
? It includes an active integrator circuit.
? Getting all the data sheet of the hardware.
5 Hardware Testing
The studied hardware is practice. The performance of
each hardware is analysed.
Software & hardware
The system is set up according to the complete circuit.

Flow Chart of Project Activities




Project Schedule of Project Activities (Gantt chart)
2018 2019 2020
Task 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 1 2 3
Hardware Setup
Data Collection
Data Analysis
Draft Report
Final Report

Task Date complete
1 Proposal submission April 2018
2 Do research on the magnetic field measurement of lightning
flashes. May 2018
3 Analyze and collect the data (simulation test) September 2018
4 Construct the hardware. January 2019
5 Measure the data that comes out such as current, voltage,
waveforms and others. April 2019
7 Analyze and collect the data August 2019
8 Final report November 2019

Access Usage of Equipment and Material
? Yokogawa DL850 scopecorders
? LeCroy HDO4000 series high definition oscilloscope

Expected Result 1. Novel theories/New findings/Knowledge
The close electric and magnetic fields of negative cloud- to-ground location detection that
can be achieved by undergo the measurements from multiple station can contribute
enlightenment on the possibility of lightning stroke and the convenient actions that

should be taken due to lessen the harm of each strikes as lightning cannot be prevented.
The data and information that will be gathered able to help in providing new knowledge
to the nation regarding the physics of stepped leaders and first return strokes.
2. Research Publications i) Relationship between low positive charge region and multiplicity of return stroke
in negative ground flash, International Conference on Electrical Engineering and
Computing (ICEEComp 2018), (in progress).
ii) Negative cloud- to-ground lightning inferred from multiple-station measurements
of close electric and magnetic fields, 2018 IEEE 12 th
International Power
Engineering and Optimization Conference (PEOCO), (July 2018).

3. Impact on Society, Economy, and Nation
As the characteristics and profile of the lightning anticipated is recognized, the lightning
protection can be implemented due to the making each strike harmless. Early steps of
prevention and safety precautions can be taken for certain situation that involves the
lightning such as the departure of the airplanes or chopper.

4. Intellectual Property (IP)
Development of high accuracy and robust automatic lightning detection system for
lightning recording and data acquisition.
Total number of IP : 1

Contribution to the Nation

Throughout this project, it can shine a new lights on the close distance lightning flashes.
The physics of stepped leaders and first return stroke will also be well understood. Besides, the
statistical information that will be provided can also be used to assess the probability of
electronic system damage by induced effect which is important in lightning detection and
protection scheme. The possibility of lightning strike can be easily identified and recognize and
the appropriate measures and actions can be taken in order to make each strikes harmless.
This project is obviously will be gone some way towards our understanding of physics of
stepped leaders and first return strokes in particular the negative flashes that occurs in close
distance. As mentioned before, there are several investigators have been characterized the
characteristics of electric fields from stepped leaders beyond 1 km of distance but no historical
study that characterized the stepped leader profile in 1 km areas. This issue has thrown up
questions in need of further investigation to establish the characteristics and profile of close
stepped leaders. To undergo the investigation, an active integrators will be used during the
measurement process that will be conducted. Regarding to this, the statistical information that
will be obtained can assists in identifying the possibility of electronic system damage to be
occurred by induced effect of close lightning. In spite of all, this project will help in recogniz ing
the characteristics of close lightning flashes which is important in protection scheme.


1. Abidin, H.Z., Ibrahim, R., 2003. Thunderstorm day and ground flash density in malaysia.
Power Engineering Conference, 2003. PECon 2003. Proceedings. National , 217- 219.
2. Azlinda Ahmad, N., 2011. Broadband and HF Radiation from Cloud Flashes and Narrow
Bipolar Pulses. Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the
Faculty of Science and Technology 822, 64.
3. Baharudin, Z.A., Fernando, M., Azlinda Ahmad, N., Makela, J.S., Rahman, M., Cooray ,
V., 2012. Electric field changes generated by the preliminary breakdown for the negative
cloud- to-ground lightning flashes in Malaysia and Sweden. Journal of Atmospheric and
Solar Terrestrial Physics 84-85, 15-24.
4. Clarence,N.D, Malan,D.J., 1957. Preliminary discharge process lightning flashes to
ground. Quarterly Journal breakdown of the Royal Meteorological Society 83, 161-172.
5. Harris, D.J., Salman, Y.E., 1972. The measurement of lightning characteristic in Northern
Nigeria. Journal of Atmospheric and solar Terrestrial Physics 34,775-778.
6. Jerauld, J., Rakov, V. A., Uman, M. A., Crawford, D. E., DeCarlo, B. A., Jordan, D. M., Ra mbo, K. J., and Schnetzer, G. H., 2003. Multiple-station Measurements of Electric and
Magnetic Felds due to Natural Lightning, in Proc. Int. Conf. on Lightning and Static
Elec. (ICOLSE),Blackpool, United Kingdom, 14.

Kitagawa, N., Brook, M., 1960. A comparison of intra cloud and cloud to ground
lightning discharges. Journal Geophysics Research 84, 2432-2456.
8. Pinto Jr., O., Pinto, I.R.C.A., Naccarato, K.P., 2007. Maximum cloud- to-ground lighting
flash densities observed by lightning location system in the tropical region: A review.
Atmospheric Research 84, 189-200.
9. Rakov, V.A., 2013. Electromagnetic Methods of Lightning Detection. Surveys on
Geophysics, 34, 731-753.
10. Takeuti, T., Ishikawa, H., Takagi, M, 1960. On the cloud Discharge Preceding the First
Ground Stroke. Preceding Research Institute Atmospheric, 7. Nagoya University, Japan