The Simulation of Lightning Electric Field and the Feasibility Study of Artificial Discharge


Cheng-Han Jhuang and Alfred Bing-Chih Chen

Institute of Space and Plasma Sciences, NCKU



    Simulation of the atmospheric electric field can help to realize the changes in the atmospheric electric field. In this simulation, the charge structure and atmospheric electric field are built first. After that, charges in cloud produce the currents by the conduction and the convection. Electric field strength continues to increase until the electric field exceeds the electric field threshold value and causing the discharge. A portion of charges eliminates after discharge. Repeat the above processes, so that the simulation of a three-dimensional electric field is established. The results of the simulation show that the ratio of the occurrences of CG and IC lightning is around 1:4, close to 1:3, the observed ratio of the occurrences of CG and IC lightning. In addition, after enhancing the convection currents in the simulation, the ratio of the occurrences of CG and IC and CI lightning lifts to 4:24:1. The flash rates of CG, CI, and IC all increase in the strong convection. By using this simple dynamic lightning model, the feasibility of the artificial discharge by a balloon-borne experiment is analyzed. If the artificial disturbance is placed near the local extremum of the atmospheric electric field, an artificial CI lightning is possibly triggered. Now, some meteorological conditions such as vertical convections are assumed and unclear in this simple model, thus the improvement on the direct connections with meteorology is also explored. .