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Abstract

In return strokes, the parameters that can be measured are the channel base current and the return stroke speed. For this reason, many return stroke models have been developed with these two parameters, among others, as inputs. Here, we concentrate on the current propagation type engineering return stroke models where the return stroke is represented by a current pulse propagating upwards along the leader channel. In the current propagation type return stroke models, in addition to the channel base current and the return stroke speed, the way in which the return stroke current attenuates along the return stroke channel is specified as an input parameter. The goal of this paper is to show that, within the confines of current propagation type models, once the channel base current and the return stroke speed are known, the measured radiation field can be used to evaluate how the return stroke current attenuates along the channel. After giving the mathematics necessary for this inverse transformation, the procedure is illustrated by extracting the current attenuation curve from the typical wave shape of the return stroke current and from the distant radiation field of subsequent return strokes. The derived attenuation curve is used to evaluate both the subsequent and first return stroke electromagnetic fields at different distances. It is shown that all the experimentally observed features can be reproduced by the derived attenuation curve, except for the subsidiary peak and long zero-crossing times. In order to obtain electromagnetic fields of subsequent return strokes that are in agreement with measurements, one has to incorporate the current dispersion into the model. In the case of first return strokes, both current dispersion and reduction in return stroke speed with height are needed to obtain the desired features.

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