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Lightning return-stroke models are needed to study lightning effects on various objects and systems, as well as in characterizing the lightning electromagnetic environment. Reviewed here are models based on Maxwell's equations and referred to as electromagnetic models. In contrast to distributed-circuit and so-called engineering models, electromagnetic models of the lightning return stroke allow a self-consistent full-wave solution for both current distribution along the lightning channel and associated electromagnetic fields. In this paper, we review electromagnetic models with an emphasis on their applications.
Date of Publication: April 2008