Low-Temperature Plasma

Plasma Physics Reports

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 75-91

First online:

The effect of a corona discharge on a lightning attachment

  • N. L. AleksandrovAffiliated withMoscow Institute of Physics and Technology
  • , E. M. BazelyanAffiliated withKrzhizhanovskii Rower Engineering Institute
  • , Yu. P. RaizerAffiliated withInstitute for Problems of Mechanics, Russian Academy of Sciences

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The interaction between the lightning leader and the space charge accumulated near the top of a ground object in the atmospheric electric field is considered using analytical and numerical models developed earlier to describe spark discharges in long laboratory gaps. The specific features of a nonstationary corona discharge that develops in the electric field of a thundercloud and a downward lightning leader are analyzed. Conditions for the development of an upward lightning discharge from a ground object and for the propagation of an upward-connecting leader from the object toward a downward lightning leader (the process determining the point of strike to the ground) are investigated. Possible mechanisms for the interaction of the corona space charge with an upward leader and prospects of using it to control downward lightning discharges are analyzed.