Studying electromagnetic interference spectrum in antenna under aircraft radome using models with artificial charged aerosol clouds

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The spectrum of electromagnetic interference that is induced by discharges in an antenna arranged under an aircraft radome in an artificial charged aqueous aerosol cloud has been experimentally studied. It is established that, among different possible variants of lightning-arrest radomes, the minimum level of the spectral density of interference signals in the antenna is provided by vertical stripe electrodes on the radome surface. The maximum characteristic frequencies of signals in a model spherical antenna are several times lower than those in model lightning diverters, while the flat model antennas of disk or rectangular shapes exhibit the opposite trend. It has been suggested that a significant role in determining the characteristics of the electromagnetic interference spectrum in weather radar antennas is played by currents of discharges generated by charges accumulated on the dielectric radome surface.

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The complex physical and chemical reactions in the combustion chamber of operating aero-engine induce electrification of aero-engine exhaust. In order to research the mechanism and principle of this phenomenon, we theoretically analyzed the formation and evolution of the charged particles in aero-engine exhaust as well as some influencing factors. Furthermore, after comparatively analyzing current electrostatic test principles and sensor schemes, we developed a special electrostatic sensor, an electrostatic monitoring system, and the corresponding automatic monitoring program. With these tools, we conducted field tests on a practical engine of aircraft which provided a large amount of exhaust gas electrostatic signal, and verified the proposed measures. The results indicate that the exhaust gas of a working aero-engine is positively charged, and its average volume charge density increases with engine speed and the temperature in combustion chamber. The max volume charge density reaches up to 0.077 nC/m3, which corresponds to an equivalent charging current of 2.26 nA, and a corona discharge frequency of 14 kHz caused by aero-engine exhaust electrification.
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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.
In order to research the resistance characteristic of silicon-based composite tiles under high temperature thermal load on aircraft during its reentry into the earth's atmosphere, the ordinary resistance measurements were comparatively discussed according to the operational environment of composite, two parallel electrodes probe test method was proposed, and the resistance test platform under high temperature thermal load was developed, by which the resistance characteristic of silicon-based composite tiles was continuous monitored under different thermal load. The result shows that: If the temperature is not higher than 600°C, the resistance will increase with the decrease of temperature until it reached the resistance value at room temperature; If the temperature is higher than 700°C, the resistance characteristic will be changed everlastingly; If the temperature is higher than 800°C, the resistance will be less than 1kΩ and will not change any more.
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This presentation discusses the effects of thunderstorms on aircraft radomes and typical lightning protection schemes.
The optical and current characteristics of spark discharges between a grounded electrode and a strongly charged artificial water-aerosol cloud are studied experimentally. The spectral characteristics of the discharge current are investigated using wavelet and Fourier analyses. Three main types of discharge with different final stages are revealed and investigated. It is found that the parameters of a discharge in its final stage depend substantially on the discharge trajectory and the depth to which it penetrates into the aerosol cloud. It is shown that the parameters of the most powerful type of discharge (the brightness of the discharge channel, the current growth rate in the final stage, and the penetration depth into the charged aerosol cloud) are close to the discharge parameters in the main stage of natural lightning. It is also shown that such a discharge neutralizes up to 5% of the cloud charge. In contrast to Fourier analysis, wavelet analysis shows that the signal amplitude (i.e., the energy deposition rate in the discharge channel) is maximum at high frequencies for all types of discharge. Of special interest is the most powerful type of discharge, in which the signal amplitude (which is one to two orders of magnitude larger than in other discharges) is maximum at frequencies of several hundred megahertz.
The effect of artificial clouds of strongly charged aqueous aerosol on model aircraft radomes has been experimentally studied. It is established that the character of discharge development in the “charged aerosol cloud–inner electrode under model radome” gap significantly differs from that observed in the absence of the model radome. The presence of the dielectric radome in the gap between charged cloud and ground can lead to the phenomenon of reversal of the polarity of discharge current from the electrode (modeling antenna). Dependence of the discharge development and its characteristics on the size (volume) of space under radome has been studied. Possible physical mechanisms involved in the interaction of lightning discharges and thunderstorm clouds with radiotrasparent aircraft radomes and equipment arranged inside are considered.
We review the available information on the mechanisms of lightning-aircraft interactions based primarily on studies involving four different instrumented aircraft. Further, we present available statistics on lightning-related aircraft incidents as a function of aircraft altitude and of ambient temperature. Finally, we examine the most significant aircraft and launch vehicle accidents attributed to lightning.
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