The scientists who are 'struck' by lightning

Lightning is one of the most dangerous and unpredictable natural phenomena. Yet the technology to stop it killing people and causing damage has not advanced much since Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning rod three centuries ago.

Every year between 6,000 and 24,000 people are killed worldwide. Lightning also causes blackouts, damage to the power network and electrical appliances, and forest fires that cost billions of euros.

Now scientists working high in the Swiss mountains are developing laser-based technology that could put an end to this threat.

At 2,500 metres, Säntis is the highest mountain of the Alpstein massif in north-eastern Switzerland. Its extreme weather conditions make it a very special spot for scientists who study lightning.

See complete Euronews report here

Laser Lightning Rod (LLR) project webpage