Lab Spotlight – November 2012

November 27, 2012

Lab Spotlight: Lightning Technologies, Pittsfield, MA

Lightning Technologies was founded in 1977 and has been doing business at its current location in Pittsfield, MA since 1982.  Lightning Technologies was acquired by NTS in September 2011.

Specializing in a Difficult Problem

Lightning Technologies performs research and development, design and engineering, testing, analysis and consulting services aimed at the protection of high technology systems and installations against the hazards of lightning and other electrical phenomena.

Verification Testing

When advisable or required by standards or specifications, Lightning Technologies can perform development or verification tests on entire systems, materials, structures or individual components.  These tests are performed in our well-equipped laboratory or, when appropriate at our customers’ facilities.


With experience in major commercial and military design programs in the United States and abroad, our engineering staff knows their way around aircraft. We understand the special considerations of space and weight limitations, electromagnetic compatibility, interference and EMP.

  • Airframes and Structures
  • Composite and non-conductive material components
  • Engines and engine Nacelles
  • Propellers and rotors
  • Fight Controls and control surfaces
  • Radomes and fairings
  • Fuel tanks and systems
  • Canopies and windshields
  • Avionics, communications and navigation systems
  • Full authority digital engine controls (FADEC)

Buildings and Facilities

New materials and electronic technologies are proliferating in commerce, industry and institutions.  Even nearby lightning strikes can play havoc with sensitive electronics resulting in a loss of important data and/or controls.  At Lightning Technologies we take a system-wide approach to lightning protection design to ensure that your entire facility and all its functions are protected from all of lightning’s direct and indirect effects.  Although lightning cannot be eliminated, damage and downtime can be.  Our experience includes:

  • Power generation plants and distribution systems
  • Manufacturing Facilities
  • Chemical/Petrochemical facilities
  • Schools and Universities
  • Traffic Control Highway lighting
  • Police Fire and security systems
  • Military installations
  • Recreational facilities Golf courses
  • Historical sites

Lightning Protection Courses

We have prepared a series of advanced lightning protection design courses for both aircraft/avionics systems and the wind turbine industry.  These are held periodically at the Pittsfield facility and also at other locations periodically.  Dedicated courses are also available which can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your organization.

Test Facilities

Direct Effects

Direct effects high voltage and high current tests are conducted in our two high bay test areas.  The high current laboratory measures 40 x 60 feet and includes generators for producing currents up to 250,000 amperes simulating the currents associated with severe naturally occurring lightning strikes.  The high current generator is comprised of three units adapted to duplicate the differing currents, durations and waveshapes of the separate lightning components.  The high voltage laboratory measures 80 x 100 feet and is equipped with several high voltage Marx Generators the largest being a 2.4 Megavolts generator used for initial leader attachment testing for both the aerospace and wind turbine industries.

Indirect Effects Tests

Lightning Technologies offers a full complement of indirect effects testing capabilities for the aerospace and other industries requiring lightning certification.  The engineers at Lightning Technologies are leaders in the art of indirect effects analysis and testing.  They have helped to engineer specialized equipment and procedures that have become accepted by regulatory agencies around the world.  Indirect effects testing includes; pin injection, multiple stroke and multiple burst testing to meet the requirements defined in SAE, EUROCAE, US MIL-STDs IEEE, ANSI and many industry and company standards and specifications.  Lightning Technologies can perform indirect effects lightning tests at your facility or site when required.  Full system tests such as on complete aircraft or other large structures can be conducted offsite to determine the types and magnitudes of induced transients in system wiring or components.

high voltage testing on wind turbine blade

High Votage Testing on Wind Turbine Blade

high current tests on panels

High Current Tests on a Panel

high current tests on a light

High Current Tests on a Light

For more information on our Pittsfield facility see our webpage here

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