GPU-Based Calculation of Lightning-Generated Electromagnetic Fields in 3-D Problems With Statistically Defined Uncertainties

A complete computational framework for the efficient study of lightning-induced electromagnetic fields and solution of pertinent problems with uncertainties in realistic environments is presented in this paper. The latter often involve various factors, such as material inhomogeneities, rough terrain surfaces, and irregular lightning channels that may inhibit the utilization of simplified approaches. To deal with these situations of augmented complexity, the finite-difference time-domain method is applied in 3-D curvilinear formulation, ensuring that all the important details are taken into account.

As the study of real-life lightning problems involves intense computations, the algorithm is accelerated by exploiting the computing capabilities of contemporary graphics processing units. Our implementation relies on a massive parallelization approach, introduces several new optimized practices, and ensures significant shortening of the simulations’ duration. Hence, the investigation of configurations with uncertainties and the extraction of statistical features are greatly facilitated. In other words, the proposed approach comprises an instructive contribution toward the foundation of a useful tool for the in-depth investigation of lightning-related phenomena.

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