Martin Hannig

Dr.-Ing. Martin Hannig

Lightning physics and lightning protection

+49 6151 16-20442
+49 6151 16-20434

Fraunhoferstr. 4
64283 Darmstadt

Office: S3|21 304

Working area(s)

Main field of research

Lightning discharges are one of the main threats for human beings, buildings, electronics and cultural heritage. The lightning flash itself owns many influencing parameters, which are statistically distributed over a wide range. This issue makes it hard to cover all effects of this event. Today there are lightning protection concepts known, which take most of the effects into account. These concepts are summarized in the standards.
In the course of the technichal development, electronic devices get more sensitive (e.g. for mobile communication), new materials are brought to vehicle and plane construction, which have no current conductive characteristcs anymore and there are wind farms which produce upward lightning with new charge transferring components.
Because lightning is a very huge event, which happens in a short period of time and covers many different multiphysic issues, there are no opportunities of simulating the whole event in the laboratory. Only some aspects can be reproduced and therefore extrapolating these findings into nature is always controversial. To overcome this issue measurements are needed, in order to reproduce and describe the behavior and effects which are associated with the lightning incidence.

Protection methodologies

In the standards the rolling sphere model is proposed, which is based on the most commonly used model – the electro-geometrical model. However, computing power gets more available during recent years, leader progression models get more and more popular. These models take into account the approach of a simplified leader and calculate individual striking distances for a structure (e.g. Rizk Model, SLIM Model). Such simulations take many different features, like field intensification or voltages (in case of transmission lines) into account. Another opportunity which arises during recent years is further development of the EGM, which is called the dynamic electro-geometrical model. A further development of the method, the enhanced dynamic electro-geometrical model, which is capable to deal with 3D geometries was developed at the high voltage department of the TU Darmstadt. Hereby the weighted interception areas from CAD structures are analysed and lead to a procentual interception efficiency.

Electromagnetic field calculation during return stroke phase

When lightning strikes an object direct or in direct vicinity electro-magnetic fields develop. These fields are able to intrude into structures or devices, where over voltages may arise and travel along lines. These voltages can lead to dangerous failures. It is important to prevent the over voltages or even design a proper surge protection. For calculation of these effects, stationary solvers most of the time are not sufficient. Because of that other calculation methods are used, like the FDTD, MOM and the TLM method.


A proper grounding system is a very important part of any lightning protection system. Hereby the ground potential rise is very important in order to prevent dangerous over voltages. However, there are some more effects that are very dangerous for human beings, like step voltages, even touch voltages and even side flashes. To cover these issues a new methodology was proposed, from which the step voltages on flat ground can be calculated analytically very accurate and fast even for very complex grounding systems.

Lighting protection on transmission lines

One of the biggest motors for lightning protection is the protection of transmission lines. The uninterrupted service of power is very important today and due to the fact transmission lines are very tall and spread all over the world, they are likely hit by lightning. Three major failures are known which occur different, depending on the line parameters. There are induced voltages (smaller lines with low CFOs for the insulators), shielding failures (the phase conductor is reached directly by the lightning strike) and back flash overs (shielding wire is hit and the potential rise may lead to a flash over if the current is too steep and/or hight in amplitude). Herby very complex simulations (e.g. ATP/EMTP) with the use of the Monte Carlo Simulations are conducted, taking into account different lightning parameters.

Measurement of pre discharges before a lightning strikes a lightning rod

Under the influence of a negative downward leader pre-discharges develop on the tip of a lightning rod, and as a result an upward moving connecting leader is incepted. This leader may reach the downward leader and in consequence defines the point of strike of the lightning. To investigate the complex mechanisms, which comply with the inception of a successful connecting leader a measuring concept, which will be capable to measure pre-discharges on veritable lightning rods under the influence of natural lightning leaders, as well as the first return stroke was developed. The intention is to learn more about the process how pre-discharges are generated under the influence of lightning leaders.

Bachelor and Master Theses

  • Individual topics possible
Under development:
  • Student research project:Determination of the frequency of occurance of lightning stroke components on wind turbines
    Assigned to: Josefine Heck
  • Bachelorthesis:Development of a simulation tool for calculating step voltages on ground surface, using an analytical approach based on simple geometries
    Assigned to: Fabian Weyell
  • Student research project:Search and evaluation of locations for measuring lihtning discharges under consideration of maximising downward lightning
    Assigned to: Karsten Selt
  • Bachelorthesis:Investigation on the inception of positive leaders, with special respect to pre discharges
    Assigned to: Marvin Gössel
  • Masterthesis:Development of a suitable screening concept for electronic devices, which are located in direct vicinity to a lightning strike point
    Assigned to: Stephan Altenhein
  • Bachelorthesis:Survey and evaluation on the argumentation strategies regarding the efficiency of none conventional lightning protection concepts
    Assigned to: Viet Anh Nguyen
  • Studienarbeit:Investigation on pre discharges at a conventional lightning rod under switching impulse
    Assigned to: Alexander Schork
  • Bachelorthesis:Investigation on the interception probabilities on different transmission line shapes, using a dynamic electro-geometrical model, based on the IEC 62305
    Assigned to: Dennis Dormann
  • Bachelorthesis:Investigation on the uncertainities and confidence intervals for impulses, measured with a self-sustaining lightning measurement device
    Assigned to: Christian Specht
  • Bachelorthesis:Design and implementation of over voltage protection and signal conditioning for two sensors used in a lightning measuring device
    Assigned to: Henrik Menne
  • Bachelorthesis:Developement of an uninterruptable power supply for a self-sustaining lightning measurment device
    Assigned to: Andreas Schütz
  • Masterthesis:Study on the Contribution of Tolerances on the Dielectric Design of GIS
    Assigned to: Anastasia Balasopoulou
  • Masterthesis:Fundamental investigations on application of unconventional sensors concenrning partial discharge measurement gas insulated switchgear in medium voltage
    Assigned to: Jan Prochaska
  • Bachelorthesis:Development of a screened rogowski coil for lightning current measurement
    Assigned to: Rashid Hussain
  • Bachelorthesis:Feasibility study of creating an exponential rising impulse voltage, based on nonlinear components, to simulate the real field strength, under the influence of a stepped leader
    Assigned to: Tim Plößer
  • Bachelorthesis:Development of an inductive, ferrite core based, measuring device for high frequency predischarge detection, under the influence of a stepped leader
    Assigned to: Tobias Rommel


Gruppiere nach: Datum | Typ des Eintrags | Keine Gruppierung
Springe zu: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2011
Anzahl der Einträge: 12.


Rusek, B. ; Steevens, S. ; Kleinekorte, K. ; Hannig, M. ; Balzer, C. ; Hinrichsen, V. ; Neumann, C. :
Dimensioning of Electrical Clearance of OHL Using Correlation between Weather Condition and Lightning Strike Probability.
In: Cigre Session 2018, 27.8.2018 - 30.8.2018, Paris.
[Konferenz- oder Workshop-Beitrag], (2018)

Hannig, M. :
Calculation of the assembled grounding resistance from complex grounding systems by using analytical considerations only.
In: ICHVE 2018, 10.09.2018 - 13.09.2018, Athen.
[Konferenz- oder Workshop-Beitrag], (2018)

Rusek, B. ; Steevens, S. ; Kleinekorte, K. ; Hannig, M. ; Balzer, C. ; Hinrichsen, V. ; Neumann, C. :
Dimensioning of Electrical Clearance of OHL Using Correlation between Weather Condition and Lightning Strike Probability.
In: Cigré Session 2018, 26.08.2018 - 31.08.2018, Paris. In: CIGRE SESSION 2018 Papers
[Konferenz- oder Workshop-Beitrag], (2018)


Hannig, M. ; Hinrichsen, V. ; Beierl, O. :
Die Fangvolumenmethode und ihre Abhängigkeit von den Feldintensivierungsfaktoren.
In: VDE/ABB-BST 2017, 12. - 13.10.2017, Aschaffenburg, Deutschland.
[Konferenz- oder Workshop-Beitrag], (2017)

Beierl, O. ; Brocke, R. ; Hannig, M. :
Effectiveness of low-impedance down-conductors.
In: XIV SIPDA, 02. - 06.10.2017, Natal, Barzil.
[Konferenz- oder Workshop-Beitrag], (2017)

Hannig, M. ; Hinrichsen, V. ; Brocke, R. :
Determination of the probability function of lightning peak currents on flat ground.
In: XIV SIPDA, 02. - 06.10.2017, Natal, Brazil.
[Konferenz- oder Workshop-Beitrag], (2017)


Kern, A. ; Brocke, R. ; Raab, V. ; Hannig, M. ; Rock, M. ; Beierl, O. ; Zischank, W. :
Detailed Calculation of Interception Efficiencies for Air-Termination Systems using the Dynamic Electro-Geometrical Model – Practical Applications.
In: ICLP 2016, 25. - 30.09.2016, Estoril, Portugal.
[Konferenz- oder Workshop-Beitrag], (2016)


Brocke, R. ; Hannig, M. ; Herrmann, L. ; Raab, V. :
Graphische Analyse der Einfangwahrscheinlichkeit von Fangeinrichtungen mit Hilfe des DEGM.
In: VDE/ABB-BST 2015, 22. bis 23. Oktober 2015, Ulm, Deutschland.
[Konferenz- oder Workshop-Beitrag], (2015)


Hannig, M. ; Hinrichsen, V. ; Hannig, R. ; Brocke, R. :
An analytical consideration on the striking probability and the total amount of strikes to simple structures according to standardized regulations.
In: ICLP 2014, 13.-17. Oktober 2014, Shangai, China.
[Konferenz- oder Workshop-Beitrag], (2014)

Hannig, M. ; Hinrichsen, V. ; Brocke, R. :
Progress on the development of a measuring instrumentation for detection of pre-discharges on a lightning rod under the influence of a negative downward leader.
In: ICLP 2014, 13.-17. Oktober 2014, Shangai, China.
[Konferenz- oder Workshop-Beitrag], (2014)


Hannig, M. ; Hinrichsen, V. ; Brocke, R. :
Entwicklung einer Messeinrichtung zur Erfassung von kleinsten Vorentladungen an einer Blitzfangstange unter Einfluss eines negativen Leitblitzes.
In: VDE/ABB-BST 2013, 24.-25. Oktober 2013, Ulm, Deutschland.
[Konferenz- oder Workshop-Beitrag], (2013)


Broniecki, U. ; Balkon, C. ; Hannig, M. ; Kalkner, W. ; Koltunowicz, W. ; Obralic, A. ; Plath, R. :
Localization of Partial Discharges in Power Transformers by Combined Acoustic and Electric Measurements.
In: ISH 2011, 22.08. - 26.08.2011, Hannover, Germany.
[Konferenz- oder Workshop-Beitrag], (2011)

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