It’s not often you can get within ten feet of lightning and still walk away completely unscathed, but this is what happened when we visited The University of Manchester’s High Voltage Laboratory with YouTube film maker Tom Scott, whose 750,000+ subscribers get treated to videos of Amazing Places and Things You Might Not Know. In his latest video, he explores what happens when drones are struck by lightning.
So, how do you conjure up a bolt of lightning and get it to strike a drone? Short of using magic, our best option for on-command lightning was to head to our High Voltage Lab, the largest of any UK university, which houses a 2 MV impulse generator.
Our ‘on-call’ doctors, Dr Vidyadhar Peesapati and Dr Richard Gardner, set up the equipment ready for the test. After a few warm-up bolts we ended up with something that looked a little like this:
Pretty impressive, but not quite as impressive as we wanted; it was time to put a drone in the middle of that bolt to see what would happen.
We ran two tests; the first drone, tethered to the ground to prevent any mishaps should it wander off course, was shocked with over 1 million volts of electricity. The effect was immediate; the drone came crashing down with no signs of movement.
8-6-2021 (August 6, 2021) is the Snakiest day of the year and it’s also this year’s CircuitPython Day! The day highlights all things CircuitPython and Python on Hardware. See you there!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.