In 2013, with the support of the Government of the Russian Federation at the Institute of Applied Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Laboratory of Lightning Physics was created, under the scientific supervision of the famous world scientist in the field of lightning and lightning protection - Rakov Vladimir Alexandrovich (Agreement No. 14.B25.31.0023 dated June 28, 2013, based on 2013-2015, the contract was extended until 2017.). It should be noted that the collaboration of the team members with Vladimir Alexandrovich began long before the well-known Decree of the Government of Russia dated April 9, 2010 No. 220. Thus, the first joint publications appeared in 2007, and the personal acquaintance of scientists happened much earlier.

The relevance of the topic is beyond doubt: lightning is an extremely dangerous natural phenomenon that often threatens human life and health, leads to failure of electrical equipment, causes fires, and creates serious interference with aviation. High electrical activity often accompanies dangerous rapidly developing meteorological phenomena such as destructive showers, thunderstorms, hail. The problem of promptly predicting lightning activity and reducing the risk of its damaging effect remains one of the most pressing and complex interdisciplinary problems. It concerns, on the one hand, insufficiently studied questions of dynamic meteorology associated with the origin, evolution, and electrical activity of powerful convective clouds and mesoscale systems. On the other hand, its solution is impossible without investigating the problems of lightning initiation, the interaction of the lightning channel with the struck object, taking into account the peculiarities of the construction and functioning of lightning detection and lightning protection systems.

Goals and objectives of the project

Objective of the project

The main goal of the Laboratory is to combine the experience and knowledge of several leading Russian scientific groups to study the physics of thunder and lightning. As a result, the Laboratory should become an all-Russian center for the study of lightning and lightning protection.

The main tasks of the project

  • Experimental study of the processes associated with the initiation of lightning, streamer-leader transition, and other unsolved problems of lightning physics.
  • Investigation of the mechanisms of electrification of clouds, development of parametrizations of electrical processes for numerical models of atmospheric dynamics.
  • Development of fundamental physical foundations of operational monitoring (nowcasting) of lightning activity, including remote measurements of electromagnetic radiation in various wavelength ranges, modeling the electrical state of the atmosphere and express forecasting of lightning activity
  • Theoretical and experimental study of high-altitude discharges in the atmosphere (sprites, elves, jets, halos)
  • Studies of lightning activity and the global electrical circuit in a changing climate.