Advisor: Dr. Linda Vahala
Old Dominion University, 2011-2012
Extensive research has been conducted regarding the safety and effects of lightening on airplanes; however, most of this research was conducted when airplanes were made of aluminum. Now, airplanes are constructed of a lightweight composite material. This composite shell no longer shields the electrical components within the airplane from magnetic fields, resulting in potential damage and malfunction of necessary flight instrumentation when struck by lightening. Data analysis of every recorded lightening strike within a year allows for patterns to be determined for airplanes to safely avoid areas known to have increased thunderstorms.