I am designing a dirigible, robotic drone. It is basically a polyurethane airship, approx 3.6 m length and 2.1 m diameter.
I am worried about lightnings: as far as I know, a Faraday Cage should be able to protect its interior from external electrostatic fields. Now my question is: a lightning is much more likely to strike on a conductive material mid-air rather than on its surroundings, right? Now, even if the Faraday Cage could protect it from the electrostatic field, there should be a huge amount of energy released in the Faraday Cage due to the Joule effect of the lightning streaming through it, enough energy to melt the structure. A lightning can bring a current up to 100 kA: say I have a wire in copper 5mm in radius and 2 m long to protect it: that lightning could release up to 4.3 MW on that lightning rod!
So I was wondering: is there any other strategy to protect the drone? On example, could it be possible to cover it with some dielectric (is there anything stronger than air?) so that lightning would rather strike somewhere else?