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Engine-driven electrization of aircraft as a radio interference source


Field measurements of the quasi-static electrical fields emerging due to the in-flight electrization of low-speed low-altitude aircraft (helicopters) were performed for the first time. It was found that the electrization of helicopters with gas turbine power plants is of a engine-driven nature: the accumulation of static positive charge at the fuselage is induced by a unipolar negatively charged exhaust stream. A static positive fuselage potential that reaches +30 or even +35 kV for certain helicopter models was determined. If dielectric and composite materials are used in the construction of helicopters and specific parts of the aircraft are isolated electrically from the fuselage, differential electrization occurs. In view of the high absolute value of the fuselage potential, this electrization results in the generation of high-voltage discharges that serve as a source of intense radio interference within a frequency band of from several megahertz to several hundred megahertz.

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Correspondence to M. E. Gushchin.

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Original Russian Text © A.A. Varfolomeev, M.E. Gushchin, S.V. Korobkov, A.V. Kostrov, Yu.P. Palochkin, S.E. Priver, D.A. Odzerikho, A.V. Strikovskii, 2015, published in Pis’ma v Zhurnal Tekhnicheskoi Fiziki, 2015, Vol. 41, No. 1, pp. 28–35.

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Varfolomeev, A.A., Gushchin, M.E., Korobkov, S.V. et al. Engine-driven electrization of aircraft as a radio interference source. Tech. Phys. Lett. 41, 14–17 (2015).

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  • Technical Physic Letter
  • Radio Interference
  • High Voltage Discharge
  • Helicopter Model
  • Aircraft Fuselage