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Jet aircraft electric field due to its exhaust gases


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Abstract

During flight, an aircraft acquires an electrostatic charge distribution on its skin due to various reasons, among which is the electrostatic polarity of the exhaust gases. Due to this electrostatic charge distribution, the aircraft, induces an electrostatic field at any point of its surrounding area. In this paper, a fast quantitative approach is proposed in order to compute the strength of this electrostatic field so as to determine if the break down electric field threshold for air ionization can be exceeded. If so, a stepped leader from an electrified cloud could be directed towards the aircraft, resulting in a lightning strike. This approach is based on the common mathematical background of potential flow and electrostatics. It was found that the strength of the electrostatic field induced by the aircraft is much less than the break down electric field threshold, therefore a lightning strike on the aircraft is unlike to occur

Keywords

aircraft, exhaust, soot particles, electrostatic charging, electric field, panel

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