An understanding of streamer influencing technology opens the door to many possibilities, including hybrid systems. Several years ago, Lightning Master was asked to design a lightning protection system for the new Advanced Launch System (ALS) at Cape Canaveral. There were several design constraints which made the use of a conventional system or a static dissipating system impractical. One of the options we suggested was a perimeter of early streamer emitting air terminals surrounding the complex to lower the overall ground charge making it onto the site by triggering strikes to the perimeter protection. This was to be complimented by a matrix of Lightning Master Streamer Delaying air terminals inside the perimeter to retard the lightning process in the protected site area itself. Working in conjunction, the two systems offered the possibility of a practical and effective solution, without compromising the ALS system design limitations. This approach highlights that one type of system is not necessarily better than another. Each has its applications, and there are applications which are best served by a combination, or hybrid, approach.
Structural lightning protection is the third leg of the three-part tripod of effective transient protection. By influencing the incidence of direct lightning strikes to the protected structure, you can reduce the incidence of stress on the bonding and grounding system and on the transient voltage surge suppression system. By doing so, by employing all three sub-systems in a complementary overall system, you can secure the maximum in personnel safety and optimize the environment in which your equipment operates.