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12 Feb, 2015 02:32

Drone captures Soviet-era ‘Tesla Tower’ lightning machine (VIDEO)

Drone captures Soviet-era ‘Tesla Tower’ lightning machine (VIDEO)

Normally hidden from prying eyes in the Moscow region’s forests, the mysterious ‘Tesla Tower’ has been captured from above by an RT Ruptly drone. The research site is home to a massive impulse generator, one of the most powerful in the world.

READ MORE: Soviet-era 'Tesla Tower' restarted with spectacular lightning bolts (VIDEO)

RT’s Ruptly was allowed to take exclusive drone footage of the Marx generator, better known as the 'Tesla Tower,' constructed back in the 1970s by the Russian Electrical Engineering Institute. The aim of the Soviet project was to have a machine to test insulation and the effects of lightning on aircraft. It was also intended to be used in the study of the weaponization of electro-magnetic pulses (EMP), as well as the effects of a nuclear or solar blast on vehicles and electronics.

The structure – which rises above a forest near Moscow – is home to one of the world's most powerful lightning machines, which is capable of creating 150-meter artificial lightning bolts.

The generator is so powerful that it could discharge – although just for 100 microseconds – as much energy as all the facilities in Russia, including nuclear ones.

The alien-like structure has been off limits to the public, but its intriguing design has not stopped bloggers from writing about it and visiting the facility in the town of Istra, 40 kilometers west of Moscow.

Still from Ruptly video.

The research center has conducted many tests since Soviet times. Despite its reputation as an abandoned site, the ‘Tesla Tower’ has been active all these years. Among the latest tests carried out were lightning protection tests for Russia’s Sukhoi Superjet aircraft.