Triggered in atmosphere lightning modelling

Mathematics. Physics. Mechanics


Apollonov V. V.*, Pletnev N. V.**

General Physics Institute named A.M. Prokhorov Russian Academy of Sciences, 38, Vavilova str., Moscow, 119991, Russia



We carried out commutation of gaps of arbitrary shape experiments in electric breakdown in atmosphere mode. The length of the gaps formed by exploding wires was up to 1.9 m with energy stored 200–4100 J and charging voltage less than 11 kV. With this, two modes are possible: exploding wire mode without electric breakdown, and electric breakdown mode (EB restrike) in the channel formed by exploding wire with current pause less than 250 ms. The paper presents voltage and current oscilloscope traces at discharge gap, as well as luminescence for both modes. The values of channel resistance are given for breakdown mode. Based on experimental results we discuss the breakdown mechanism and streamer initiation within the discharge gap of 5.3—17kV/m. Geometry evaluations of individual overheated copper drops plasma formations are carried out. We also discuss wire explosion products formation — large aerosols with participation of copper oxide particles (CuO, Cu2O), as well as current flow character during the breakdown. The paper presents estimation of channel temperature and average speed of its expansion. It is shown that with specific energy of 600 J/m inserted into the channel the electric breakdown simulates real processes in the trigger type lightning, that is artificial lightning used for thin wire channel formation in the direction of a thunderstorm cloud during small rockets launching.


conducting channel formation in the atmosphere, exploding wire, current pause, electrical breakdown, streamer, aerosol


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