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Characteristics of lightning at and in the vicinity of the CN Tower

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posted on 23.05.2021, 13:22 by Vicki Todorovski.
The CN Tower has been the center of tourism in Toronto since it first opened to the public on June 26, 1976. It is the world's tallest manmade freestanding structure as well as Canada's most recognizable icon standing at a height of 553 meters. However, like everything else, there could be a down to this incredible structure. Does it attract more lightning; potentially putting the surrounding area in its vicinity in harm's way, or does it provide lightning protection to this area? Although, extensive analysis have been performed concerning the characteristics of lightning strikes to the CN Tower, not much attention has been given to the characteristics of lightning strikes in the vicinity of the tower or the influence the tower has on the lightning environment around it. This thesis is believed to be the first to fill such a gap and tries to answer these questions. Using the 2005 North American Lightning Detection Network data for the area of up to 100 km from the tower, an extensive investigation of lightning activities in the vicinity of the tower is presented here. A comparison between the characteristics of CN Tower strikes and the characteristics of strikes occurring in its vicinity is also presented. Furthermore, the parameters of the lightning electromagnetic pulse (LEMP) generated by a strike to the tower are compared with those generated by a non-eN Tower strike. A substantial increase in the CN Tower LEMP peak in comparison with that resulting from non-CN Tower LEMP has been found. Therefore, electronic and communication systems located in the vicinity of a very tall structure must be specially protected from the lightning-generated electromagnetic pulse.





Master of Applied Science


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


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