This is a simple device used to protect tall buildings from the lightning.
It consists of a long thick copper rod passing through the building to ground. The lower end of the rod is connected to a copper plate buried deeply into the ground. A metal plate with number of spikes is connected to the top end of the copper rod and kept at the top of the building.
When a negatively charged cloud passes over the building, positive charge will be induced on the pointed conductor. The positively charged sharp points will ionize the air in the vicinity. This will partly neutralize the negative charge of the cloud, thereby lowering the potential of the cloud. The negative charges that are attracted to the conductor travels down to the earth. Thereby preventing the lightning stroke from the damage of the building